March 09, 2021

Desai: Bears expect to have Eddie Goldman back in 2021

The Bears are a long way from the 2021 season, but they certainly hope to have nose tackle Eddie Goldman back. Goldman opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

It’s far from a sure thing, but the Bears new defensive coordinator Sean Desai said the Bears’ expectation is that Goldman will return.

“I have not been given any confirmation and, quite honestly, I don’t know when that process or if I get that confirmation, how that works,” Desai said Monday. “I think our expectation and his, I think, is that he will want to play because I know he misses it and he wants to be back.”

Goldman had been a Pro Bowl alternate in 2019 and a key force on the defensive line for the Bears. While others picked up the slack in 2020 without him, notably Bilal Nichols, Brent Urban and Mario Edwards Jr., Goldman’s absence certainly was felt.

[Read more: From his early coaching years in Connecticut high school football, Sean Desai showed promise]

Prior to the season, players were given the option to opt out due to coronavirus health concerns. Goldman was one of two Bears who opted out, the other being safety Jordan Lucas.

The landscape across the country can change greatly between now and training camp. With COVID-19 vaccinations ongoing across the country, it’s possible many of the players who opted out in 2020 could feel much more at ease come July. But at this point, it’s simply too soon to know with any certainty.

Desai met with the media Monday for the first time since his promotion to defensive coordinator. He acknowledged that there was some regression with the Bears defense in 2020.

“We’re going to overcome that, but we’re going to do (it) in a positive way and we’re going to do it where the players are going to be able to shine through that defense,” Desai said. “So I think we’ll build some depth and we’ll continue with our tough, physical mindset of play.”

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.