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Quick Hits: Bears not distracted from task at hand


With Bears coach Matt Nagy remaining in quarantine away from Halas Hall, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor ran practice Thursday for the second straight day.

"There's no drop-off really," said rookie running back Khalil Herbert. "I feel like we're a self-running machine. It's the same thing. Coach 'Tabes' does a great job of getting us going. He runs the whole practice like it's special teams. He's screaming and getting everybody going. It's pretty much the same."

Nagy, who tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, continued to lead the Bears' Zoom meetings. With stricter COVID protocols having been enacted this week at Halas Hall, all meetings are being conducted virtually.

"The week hasn't been any different for me from the standpoint of I talk to coach [Nagy] all the time every day," Tabor said. "He's in all the meetings. I just don't see him physically. With regards to how we're prepping for special teams, I've stayed in my same routine, same process. If something else comes across my desk that I need to execute for coach, then I will do that."

If Nagy isn't cleared to work Sunday's home game against the 49ers, Tabor will assume head-coaching duties.

"If that comes to fruition, I'll be honest with you, I run a team meeting every day, and I know in the special teams world, it is a team meeting," Tabor said. "I deal with every player on this football team, from the quarterbacks to the defensive linemen to the offensive linemen. I meet with them every [day]. To me, that's no different. Meeting and leading guys, that's not a big deal."

Back at it: Rookie tackle Larry Borom is practicing this week for the first time since hurting his ankle in the season opener against the Rams. The Bears have three weeks to decide whether to activate him off injured reserve.

"He's been working his tail off, trying to get back, and he's probably out there enjoying it," Herbert said. "He's having fun. He's getting ready. He's ready to go. He's been fired up, trying to get back. So he's back now and he's ready to go."

As a rookie who has made the most of his opportunity to play, Herbert—whose 272 yards rushing the past three weeks are the third most by any NFL back—was asked what advice he'd give Borom.

"Study; know what you've got to do in every play," Herbert said. "But don't try to do anything spectacular. Just let the game come to you and do your job."

Injury update: For the second straight day Thursday, outside linebacker Khalil Mack (foot) did not practice and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (groin) and safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (hip) were limited.

Four players were full participants in practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday: receiver Allen Robinson II (ankle), tight end J.P. Holtz (quad), defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (knee) and return specialist Jakeem Grant Sr. (ankle).

Roster Move: The Bears on Thursday activated linebacker Caleb Johnson off the reserve/COVID-19 list. The undrafted rookie from Houston Baptist was placed on the list last Sunday, hours before the Bears played the Buccaneers in Tampa.

Johnson has appeared in five games this season, exclusively on special teams, playing 73 snaps. The 6-2, 227-pounder is tied with Deon Bush and Nsimba Webster for the team lead with four special teams tackles.

The Bears still have three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list: right tackle Elijah Wilkinson, tight end Jimmy Graham and outside linebacker Robert Quinn.

The Bears were back on the practice field at Halas Hall in preparation for Sunday's matchup with the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field.

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