Eddie Goldman’s status for Sunday’s season opener remains murky — but it’s a position in which the Chicago Bears have considerable depth
The availability of nose tackle Eddie Goldman remains in question three days before the Chicago Bears kick off their season against the Los Angeles Rams.
He appeared on the team’s injury report Wednesday with a knee/ankle injury after missing practice and coach Matt Nagy clarified Thursday morning that Goldman suffered a knee injury Monday.
Nagy said he did not know if Goldman would participate in Thursday’s practice, which was scheduled to begin at 1:20 p.m.
“He’s going to be day-to-day, literally,” Nagy said. “We’ll just continue to see where that’s at. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow.”
Bilal Nichols got ample time playing on the interior last season when Goldman opted out because of COVID-19, so it’s not as if defensive coordinator Sean Desai lacks an experienced option to plug in if Goldman misses the game. But Goldman, when he last played in 2019, was an elite run stuffer and the Bears would surely rather line Nichols up elsewhere.
Goldman missed eight days of practice early in training camp as a result of a false positive COVID-19 test after revealing that, at least at the time, he was not vaccinated. After returning, a back injury sidelined him for a short period of time. He started the preseason finale at Tennessee and got 10 snaps in the game.
“I thought he was looking pretty good,” Nagy said. “I think he’s in a good place. We’ve just got to see where he’s at. Other than (the knee injury), man, he’s been rockin’ and rollin’ this whole time. Just proud of him for that. I think the biggest thing for us going into this was trying to figure out where he was conditioning-wise and everything and he did great with that.”
The Bears also have Khyiris Tonga, a seventh-round pick from BYU, as an option. He got considerable playing time throughout preseason and showed some ability to collapse the pocket from the interior.
“He’s done a great job in training camp, so yeah, I think there’s a possibility there,” Nagy said. “First of all, he’s a great kid. He’s just a hard worker and tough as nails so you love that about him. He’s done everything we’ve asked. He’s created a lot of depth for us and he’s very coachable and I think Coach (Chris) Rumph has done a great job of really early on here developing him.”
Defensive line is the deepest position on the roster even with Mario Edwards Jr. suspended for the first two weeks. The Bears are counting on Angelo Blackson being a solid part of the rotation, and earlier this weekend signed a pair of veterans to the practice squad — nose tackle Damion Square and end Margus Hunt. Square is a potential fill-in for Goldman on Sundayif he is elevated from the practice squad. He spent the last six seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers and did not miss a game the last four years.