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David Chao, MD: COVID Fears Unfounded, And A Quick Look At Bears-Bucs

Once again COVID dominated the news, and there was needless fear that Patrick Mahomes would get COVID after his postgame hug with Patriots safety Stephon Gilmore, who later tested positive. New England’s game vs. the Broncos may be postponed, but the Titans’ contest vs. the Bills is the bigger worry.

With at least one more Titans player testing positive, there will likely be no practice for Tennessee this entire week again. Some Titans players violated league orders by getting together for practice, and one showed blatant disregard of the rules. 

The Titans need to prepare for the significant hammer coming from the league for protocol violations, in the form of fines and potentially even draft picks and/or a forfeit. Other coaches around the league even called for punishments for these protocol violations, so the Titans are under tremendous pressure. 

In Thursday’s battle of 3-1 teams, the final injury reports came out as expected, and our early week injury impressions didn’t change. Use the hover feature in the interactive graphic showing the Field View and Injury Index and also flip for offense/defense. 

The Buccaneers will be short on healthy wide receivers. Chris Godwin is already ruled out with a hamstring. Mike Evans will try to play through a mild high ankle sprain, but even if active, may end up being more of a decoy than an actual threat. Scotty Miller should play, but even he is questionable with hip/groin issues after logging 2 DNPs and a LP. Tight end O.J. Howard tore his Achilles this past Sunday, so that leaves Tom Brady with old pal Rob Gronkowski, who has struggled thus far. The run game will be missing both Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy with ankle issues, but at least Ronald Jones and the offensive line are healthy.

Meanwhile, the Bears are healthier than the Bucs and will be at home and getting 3.5 points. Even without a real home-field advantage, the health advantage in the short week might come into play. I have to side with Bobby Burack’s advice to stay away from Brady and the Bucs this week. The home-field and health advantages might combine for a Bears cover or even an outright win. However, given Foles’ struggles last week, these two teams may buck the trend of overs for an under game.

Outkick readers should take advantage of the information revealed on Clay Travis’ national Fox Sports Radio broadcast this morning: All of you can go to www.profootballdoc.com and sign up for free for this season.

Written by Pro Football Doc

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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