Bears players joined peers from many NFL teams in issuing a statement regarding their plans for the offseason program and said that “the majority of our locker room” will not take part in in-person work this year.
On Tuesday, General Manager Ryan Pace suggested that might not be the case. The first phase of offseason work began last week and Pace said that the number of players who have come in for strength and conditioning work has him “optimistic” that the team will be close to their usual participation rates once players can work with coaches in the second and third phases.
“I expect [attendance] to be good,” Pace said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “I think with just the feeling I have with our guys and the excitement of this offseason and the upcoming season, I feel it. I feel it from our leadership. I feel it throughout our team. I can already tell from the guys who are coming in now and just kind of the energy and the momentum I feel from that group. I expect it to carry right into May 17 when they can be here at Halas.”
Pace added that he thinks it is “important for us to all be together and continue to grow as a team” with a new quarterback in Andy Dalton, but we’ll see how many players are in that boat in a few weeks.