NT Eddie Goldman had unexcused absence at Bears minicamp

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While most of the Bears’ defensive starters chose to skip voluntary OTAs, they returned in full force for the start of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.

But there was still one defensive starter that was noticeably absent from minicamp: nose tackle Eddie Goldman.

Goldman opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, and the expectation was that Goldman would play in 2021. That still appears to be the case as coach Matt Nagy expects him to be ready for training camp in late July.

“As everyone knows, it’s a mandatory minicamp and he’s not here,” Nagy said. “We did have a discussion with him yesterday and obviously I’m going to keep between us, but we do expect him to be at training camp rocking and rolling there at training camp.”

Nagy did speak with Goldman on Monday, but he explained that Goldman’s absence was indeed unexcused. While Nagy confirmed that Goldman is opting to skip mandatory minicamp — for which there will be a combined $93,000 fine for all three days — he expects Goldman to be ready for training camp. Which is important given Goldman has already missed a year.

“I don’t think it’s in doubt,” Nagy said. “I really feel confident that he is going to be here. Obviously when someone is not in minicamp that’s probably what a lot of people will think and start wondering what the deal is and that’s natural and okay and normal. But we fully expect him to be there.

“Do we wish he was here? Absolutely, because we think he is a hell of a player and he has been out a whole year.”

Goldman is an important part of Chicago’s defensive front, especially when it comes to defending the run, something the Bears struggled with at times last season. The sooner they get Goldman back, the better.

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Storylines to watch as Bears kick off mandatory minicamp