Bears activate RB Damien Williams from COVID list

The Chicago Bears activated running back Damien Williams from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.

The Bears (3-3) also announced that injured defensive tackle Akiem Hicks did not travel with the team and will not play Sunday against the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1).

Williams missed last week’s 24-14 loss to Green Bay after testing positive. Because he is unvaccinated, he had to spend a minimum of 10 days on the list.

Rookie Khalil Herbert earned the start against the Packers and played well, rushing for 97 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 15 yards.

The Bears are already missing running back David Montgomery, who is on injured reserve with a sprained knee.

Williams, 29, is in his first season with the Bears after opting out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. In 90 games with the Miami Dolphins (2014-17), Kansas City Chiefs (2018-19) and Chicago, he has amassed 1,368 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns while catching 148 passes for 1,167 yards and another 10 touchdowns.

Hicks, 31, played through a groin injury last Sunday and was a limited participant in Friday’s practice before being ruled out. He has 11 tackles, five quarterback hits and 1 1/2 sacks in five starts this season, his 10th in the NFL.

The Bears also flexed offensive lineman Dieter Eiselen and defensive tackle Margus Hunt from the practice squad to the active roster as COVID-19 replacements.

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