Tight End Eric Saubert Put on Reserve/COVID-19 List
It didn't take long Wednesday after GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy said they couldn't predict more COVID-19 list members from the team before one found his way onto the list.
It was a tight end, the position where the Bears once had 11 players. At least for now they'll have six.
Hoffman Estates High School product Eric Saubert was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, becoming the second Bears player on it. Rookie running back Artavis Pierce is the other one, while nose tackle Eddie Goldman has taken the coronavirus opt-out for this season.
The Bears signed Saubert off the Raiders' practice squad last November and he caught two passes for 21 yards in two Bears games last December after making five receptions for 48 yards with Atlanta in 2018.
Saubert played college football at Drake and was a fifth-round draft pick in 2017 by Atlanta. He was also briefly with New England.
Last week the Bears cut tight end Ben Braunecker and traded tight end Adam Shaheen, after they'd already cut Trey Burton. Those were their top three tight ends last year. They also had cut practice squad tight end Dax Raymond. They liked the way it was shaping up competitively, this situation with Saubert aside.
"It's an important position, we know that, we understand that," coach Matt Nagy said. "So that's our job, is at the end of the season you evaluate where you're at, we did that, we made some moves, we like where we're at right now.
"There's going to be great competition for them to get in there and do what they can do but you know, having tight ends whether it's in the run game or the pass game in all of our opinions is very, very important. And so we waned to try to get better and improve in that area as well as a bunch of other areas."
Pace called the signing of new tight ends coach Clancy Barone another essential part of the team's improvement at the position.
"I think it's a good mix of vets and young players," Pace said. "You know, they all have different skill sets they bring to the table that we like so it's an intriguing group."
An intriguing group yes, but it's also a rapidly shrinking group.