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Bears activate RB Damien Williams off COVID-19 list ahead of Week 7 clash vs. Buccaneers

We break down the news that Damien Williams has been activated off the COVID list for Week 7.

Chicago Bears running back Damien Williams (8) carries the ball during a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday update: Williams has officially been activated off the COVID-19 list, according to Adam Schefter. This does not mean the running back will automatically get the start against the Buccaneers, but he’s available for the team. Khalil Herbert had a good game against Green Bay and should still be in the mix for touches.

Thursday update: Williams won’t be able to come off the Covid-19 list until Saturday, at the earliest, as he is unvaccinated, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The liklihood of him being cleared on Saturday is unknown and with two weeks away from practice, there’s a real chance Khalil Herbert gets the start again after a good Week 6.

Head coach Matt Nagy reports that Chicago Bears running back Damien Williams continues to be out due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, per the Sun Times’ Patrick Finley. Williams, who opted out last season due to COVID-19, tested positive and will need two negative tests 24 hours apart to return to the team.

With Williams out last week and David Montgomery on injured reserve, rookie Khalil Herbert played well, rushing 19 times for 97 yards and a touchdown, while catching 3-of-3 targets for 15 more yards.

Fantasy football implications

If Williams can’t go this week, Herbert would again see the the bulk of the running back work against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s not a matchup many would relish starting a running back in for fantasy, but with the bye weeks limiting our options, Herbert’s usage is too good to pass on. If Williams does get cleared and returns, he could split more work with Herbert, making it tougher to play either in a bad matchup. But Williams’ ability as a receiver would keep him in play in PPR leagues.