How the Bears approached their 1st week of training camp with personal COVID-19 responsibility on their minds: 'One slip-up and it can spread like wildfire'

Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

Chicago Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan considered taking the NFL's opt-out offer this season.

Trevathan's fiancee -- his "backbone," he said -- has chronic asthma and allergies, and he also has two young children he worries about during the COVID-19 pandemic. He put "hard thought" into his decision.

"(Opting out) is going in your mind because you were hearing so many different things about the virus," Trevathan said on a call Friday. "They start talking about the effects of it and all this and that. ... I took it into consideration just because of her and her sacrifice and how important family is and how important she is to me."

Trevathan did not opt out. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman and safety Jordan Lucas were the only two Bears players among more than 60 leaguewide to do so by the NFL's 3 p.m. Thursday deadline. Goldman opted out with a high-risk designation, meaning he will receive a $350,000 stipend. Those that are not at high risk for complications from COVID-19 receive $150,000 salary advances.

When Trevathan toured Halas Hall for the first time this summer, he thought the Bears did a good job handling the safety protocols to protect against the spread of coronavirus. That helped him feel like he made the right decision to play his ninth season in the NFL and fifth with the Bears.

But he also is frank about how he, his teammates and Bears coaches and staff need to act in the coming months inside and outside the facility for their environment to remain safe -- and for them to continue playing football.


"We have to govern ourselves," Trevathan said. "Everybody's got to be accountable. Everybody's got to be responsible and think about the next man's family as well as yours. Because you don't want anybody coming in there sick and then you end up getting sick and you take it back home to your family. That's just not a good feeling or a good situation.

"So the down time is when you really have to be a pro. You've got to cover yourself and take it seriously. One slip-up, and it can spread like wildfire, so I feel like you've just got to home in and think about the bigger picture."

Bears coach Matt Nagy and infection control officer Andre Tucker have stressed the need for ongoing education with the team. They recently held a Zoom meeting with players and their families to answer questions and talk about safe practices. And Nagy, who wore a mask to his media availability earlier this week, said he believes anybody within the Bears facility can tell another to get his or her mask up.

"(It's) everyone taking initiative themselves and knowing we all have a job to do and if we want to play ball, we have to abide by the rules," inside linebacker Roquan Smith said. "It's just more so abiding by the rules and just doing things the right way. And we all know right from wrong."


swipe to next page