BOURBONNAIS – Chicago Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman has become the first Chicago Bears player to opt out of the 2020 season amid COVID-19 concerns.
Goldman made the announcement less than a day after the NFL canceled the 2020 pre-season. Up until yesterday the four game pre-season had been cut down to one game, which has now been terminated.
As of Tuesday morning, over 103,000 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Cook County since the pandemic began.
“In the months since the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, we have navigated the time carefully, thoughtfully and in partnership with the NFL Players Association with a shared goal of playing a healthy and complete 2020 season,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “This process has not been easy — COVID-19 will continue to present a major challenge to nearly every area of American life. Football is no exception.”
As of Tuesday morning, 18 players across the NFL had opted out of the season including six members of the New England Patriots.
Goldman had been a key part in the team’s run defense for the past two seasons and has started 67 games over the course of the last five years. Last year, Goldman played over 40 percent of all defensive snaps for the team.
This year’s training camp is the first since 2002 the Chicago Bears will not be practicing here in Bourbonnais after GM Ryan Pace announced the team would move training camp to Halas Hall in January.
No fans are allowed at this year’s training camp.