The woes continue as the Bears placed Andy Dalton and Duke Shelley on the Reserve/COVID-19 list today. The players were present at practice on Thursday, albeit just in walkthrough fashion, and were around coaches without masks on.
Andy Dalton and Duke Shelley
Now with Andy Dalton out, again, Nick Foles will hold the backup quarterback role behind Justin Fields. If Monday night's game actually happens as scheduled, the Bears hope to avoid any further injuries with a dwindling 53-man roster. Dalton was questionable for this game already and now his absence is confirmed.
This is highly unfortunate news only one day after Duke Shelley returned to practice from injury. Shelley has been absent since Week 11 and his presence would be greatly welcomed back in the secondary. Now, he and Eddie Jackson are both out and the Bears' secondary is in rough shape.
The Bears also lost DeAndre Houston-Carson for the season with an injury, so the question becomes: who will suit up in the secondary? They could very well be playing the game against the Vikings with a slew of second-string or practice-squad players.
Will the Bears even play on Monday Night Football? All week, this game has looked doubtful and more doubtful. At one point, the Bears had almost 30 players and/or coaches out. Some were out with injuries or non-COVID illnesses, and others were on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. If they can't put together a full squad or at the very least a healthy squad to play this game against the Vikings, then the loss will be inevitably less painful.
Andy Dalton and Duke Shelley are likely out for this game. The players who may return have very little to play for anyway with the Bears almost mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.