The Bears will pick up several key players from the reserve / COVID-19 roster ahead of their final two games.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson, cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Tashaun Gipson – all starters – tested negative and were allowed to return on Monday after missing the last two games. The Bears also activated tight end Jesse James and Ryan Nall.
The Bears lost their entire starting high school before the Vikings game due to a coronavirus outbreak and tinkered with it with backups Duke Shelley, Kindle Vildor, Deon Bush, Teez Tabor and Thomas Graham.
That squad was so exhausted that station coach Deshea Townsend, a 46-year-old who played at the cornerback for 13 seasons, joked about replacing him.
“Only in the red zone,” Townsend said Monday. “I have about 11 meters of blanket in me.”
The last two games are important for Robinson as he wraps up a frustrating season and walks towards free will. Between injuries and the virus, he missed five games and has only 32 catches for 353 yards and a touchdown.
He’s on track for the least productive season of his career, aside from missing most of 2017 with a torn ACL, and it’s coming at the worst time financially. Robinson was hoping for a big payday in free agency last season after registering 2,397 yards and 13 of 200 touchdowns in 2019 and 20, but the Bears held him back with the franchise tag for $ 17.9 million.