Chicago Bears must sign veteran with RB on COVID-19 list

The Chicago Bears placed one of their running backs on the COVID-19/reserve list on Monday.

As all players are set to report to NFL training camps on Tuesday, the Chicago Bears get ready to take on all of the new challenges and protocols in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rosters will now be lowered down to 80 players and there will be consistent testing with all people involved in training camp. The next few days and weeks will tell us a lot about whether or not we will indeed see a season, and to what extent.

If a player tests positive for COVID-19 or comes into close contact with someone who has contracted the virus, they must be placed on a reserve list and will not count against the active roster.

On Monday, the Bears announced that undrafted rookie running back Artavis PIerce was placed on this list and now begin training camp without much competition at the third running back spot.

The Bears signed Pierce following the 2020 NFL Draft, and he joined fellow Oregon State Beaver Ryan Nall as a potential third or fourth string running back. These two would have dueled it out for that spot behind David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen.

Now, it’s down to Nall and another undrafted rookie, Napoleon Maxwell. The latter came out of Florida International after rushing for 675 yards on 128 carries in his final season. Nall at least has some experience as a pro, but the Bears shouldn’t count on he or Maxwell to come in and be an effective third string back.

Instead, it would be wise for Ryan Pace to go out and get a guy like Devonta Freeman, who is still available. Freeman’s camp finally admitted to being open to any team at the moment, with agent Drew Rosenhaus saying “We want to work out a deal in the immediate future, and we are open to any team.”

Rosenhaus went on to say he’s healthy and would like to see Freeman find a team in late July.

Being placed on the reserve list is not ideal for Pierce, but the Bears ultimately have to do what’s best for the team. Signing someone like Freeman, or even Lamar Miller, would be a huge upgrade to that third running back spot.

If they do not sign a veteran at this point, that means they are content with Nall at the third string slot on the depth chart. Nall, who has ripped off a couple of impressive runs in his preseason play the last two years, could end up surprising some folks.

If it is Nall, in the end, I hope I am one of those people he surprises.