The Chicago Bears got their first test of how they will handle the realities of COVID-19 this season before training camp even began. Rookie running back Artavis Pierce arrived at Halas Hall on July 21st to go through medical procedures. This of course included tests for the virus to see if he was contaminated. A few days later the undrafted free agent has landed on the newly-designated reserve/COVID-19 list.

What does this mean? Basically one of two things. Either the running back tested positive for the virus or he was exposed to somebody who was. Either way, this means he will be quarantined for the next two weeks. When that time expires, he will have to deliver two negative tests before being allowed to resume activities with the team.

Not exactly the start to his NFL career he was hoping for.

Pierce was expected to competed for the #3 slot behind David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen. As of now it belongs to Ryan Nall but nobody would call him a lock. This setback will make things much harder for him. Especially since there haven’t been any minicamps or OTAs to this point. Never mind the fact he won’t get to showcase his ability in the preseason.

He’s not alone. Several other players have ended up on the list as well. It’s an unfortunate reality of what the NFL is facing. A herculean task of conducting a football season despite boasting the largest player base by a wide margin in professional sports.