Veteran receiver Marquise Goodwin is counting down the days until the Bears' Sept. 12 season opener against the Rams in Los Angeles.
After opting out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 concerns, the Sunday night clash will be the first regular season game Goodwin has played in since December 2019 when he was with the 49ers, a span of 21 months.
"Excitement level on 100," Goodwin said Monday. "Sitting out because of COVID, protecting my family, I didn't get to play. So, it's been a thrill just being around this organization, getting to know everybody, knowing the scheme, and now the season is finally here, so I'm ready to go."
Still among the league's fastest players, Goodwin has appeared in 75 NFL games with 40 starts over seven seasons with the Bills (2013-16) and 49ers (2017-19). He has caught 140 passes for 2,323 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Goodwin and fellow free-agent acquisition Damiere Byrd join second-year pro Darnell Mooney to give the Bears blazing speed at the receiver position.
Asked if opposing safeties are going to back up after Goodwin catches a long pass, he said: "I think they're going to be backed up as soon as all of us step out there. Whenever that play comes is when it comes. I don't care if it's Week 1 or Week 17 [or] 18, as long as I'm helping the team in any way that I'm supposed to and in any way that I can. But I hope it's Week 1."
Final cuts: General manager Ryan Pace and his staff no doubt will be burning the midnight oil Monday night; the Bears must cut 27 players by 3 p.m. CT Tuesday to reach the NFL's mandatory 53-man roster limit.
"They're working through all that right now," Nagy said Monday. "That's something that's fluid and they're literally in there right now working through the numbers and where we're at. We'll meet tonight as a staff, go through and really start finalizing as to where we're at."
The day that final cuts take place is Nagy's least favorite day on the calendar.
"This is that time right now where these guys have worked their tails off to get to this point and unfortunately you have to have some tough conversations with them," Nagy said. "This is probably the worst part of the year when you've got to tell some of these guys that it's not going to work out here."
Up in the air: Cornerback Desmond Trufant is one player whose future is unknown. The nine-year NFL veteran signed with the Bears in March, looking to rebound after a nagging hamstring injury limited him to six games last season with the Lions. But Trufant has now been away from the team for more than a week due to personal reasons.
"That's one of the discussions that we've got to go through tonight," Nagy said. "You want to be able to be available and he has his situation, too. It's never an easy one. But I know in the end we'll make the right decision."
Great for Nick: Nagy praised third-string quarterback Nick Foles for his performance in last Saturday night's preseason finale. Playing the entire second half in a 27-24 win over the Titans, Foles completed 10 of 13 passes for 142 yards with two touchdowns, no turnovers and a 151.3 passer rating.
"I was really excited for the way that he came in and played," Nagy said. "I thought, regardless of where he played in the game and who he played with or who he played against, he ran the offense efficiently.
"There were times where they brought cover-zero and he got rid of the ball. There were some things he got to. Twice they did it, they popped a zero on us, and he didn't get hit because he knew where to go with the football. What a great teaching tool to be able to show these other guys, 'Hey, within this offense you better get your eyes back and look. And quarterback, you better snap your head and eyes around and get rid of the ball.' And he did that. So, to be able to help those young guys out, I think it's good, and it was great for Nick."
Bears RB David Montgomery, WR Darnell Mooney and team reporter Lauren Screeden spent a day off on the lanes taking part in a friendly competition at the bowling alley.