The Chicago Bears suffer a big blow to their defensive line
The Chicago Bears have downgraded Eddie Goldman from doubtful to out for the Week 1 matchup versus the Los Angeles Rams. Losing Goldman is a big blow to the Bears‘ defense, but luckily this team is used to not having Goldman around since he is coming off a 2020 season where he chose to opt out due to concerns about COVID-19. That said, the team struggled mightily last year versus the run — something this defense has always succeeded in stopping.
The Bears’ front seven was supposed to be the strongest part of the defense. The defensive line and linebacking groups are extremely important since there are plenty of question marks in the secondary. In a corresponding move, the Chicago Bears are promoting Josh Woods and Damion Square up from the practice squad. Woods will be helping on special teams and let’s hope we don’t see Square take a snap on defense.
It should be noted that Eddie Goldman decided to skip mandatory OTAs, but he did report on time to training camp in July. Could the injury be due to not being around the team and conditioning in a way that the training staff would have liked? Maybe it has something to do with taking a full year away from football. Honestly, I doubt that is the case as Goldman looked to be in great shape.
With the return of Goldman, the linebackers were supposed to have free reign and not have to deal with shedding as many blockers. Now, without Goldman, the Bears’ defense will be counting on seventh-round rookie, Khyiris Tonga.
Tonga looked good during the preseason and training camp, however, to have to count on a seventh-round rookie in the regular season comes with plenty of risks. How will he be able to hold up for a full season too? Goldman is dealing with a knee injury that he sustained earlier in the week. Knee injuries are tricky, especially with big defensive linemen who have to explode off the ball.
The point is, this might not be the only time we see Goldman on the sideline this season. Can a seventh-round pick truly help this team, or should Ryan Pace already be on the phone with the agents of defensive tackles Geno Atkins and Kawann Short — two better defensive tackles still available but who have also dealt with injuries as of late. The team is already one of the oldest in the NFL anyway. Let’s hope that Goldman will heal quickly and return for Week 2.