Only a few days after the Bears learned nose tackle Eddie Goldman had taken the coronavirus opt-out for this season, they've temporarily lost his backup.
Nose tackle John Jenkins has been placed on the Bears' Reserve/COVID-19 List. He is the third member of the team on the list. A
Jenkins is on his second tour of duty with the Bears, having signed this offseason after he played eight games in 2017 for them.
Jenkins is more or less a journeyman type, having played for five teams in seven seasons. He started five games and played in 16 for Miami last year.
Without Jenkins available to practice, the Bears are looking depleted on the defensive line.
They can move Bilal Nichols or Roy Robertson-Harris into this spot.
There are no other players who have the ideal size for a nose tackle beyond Nichols and Akiem Hicks, but moving Hicks would deprive the Bears of a standout pass rusher and put him into a role as someone who eats up blocks.
There are free agent defensive linemen on the market like Damon Harrison and Mike Daiels.
Only one of the two undrafted free agents the Bears signed fits the ideal nose tackle size. Lee Autry from Mississippi State is still a bit small for that position at 6-foot-2, 302 pounds.
Bears GM Ryan Pace on Wednesday at his season-opening press conference suggested looking outside the organization for another lineman was a possibility.
"You know we are always looking at ways to improve our team and our roster," Pace said. "There is a lot of avenues for us to do that, it doesn't mean it has to be right now. But there will be opportunities ahead of us as well."
The future might be right now after two nose tackles went out before they've even run a pass route or hit anyone.