Chicago Bears' Goldman says he feels faster this year

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • After losing about 15 pounds since his rookie season, Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman says he feels quicker and faster. Coach John Fox says the smaller Goldman has grown as a player.

    After losing about 15 pounds since his rookie season, Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman says he feels quicker and faster. Coach John Fox says the smaller Goldman has grown as a player. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, December 2015

 
 
Updated 8/23/2016 7:47 PM

Chicago Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman made multiple all-rookie teams in 2015 after starting 12 games, and more is expected this year from the second-round pick out of Florida State.

"I've seen improvement," coach John Fox said. "Eddie grew a lot last year as a rookie, and I've seen that same growth so far, even in the preseason games, albeit in limited play."

 

After getting a combined 20-some snaps on the first two preseason games, Goldman is expected to play into the third quarter along with the other starters are in Game 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs at noon Saturday at Soldier Field.

"He'll get a few more plays, (to) kind of get him in full-game condition," Fox said. "But I like his progress. He's a good, young player who's continued to improve."

The 6-foot-4 Goldman, who played at 336 pounds last year, believes he's in better condition this year after cutting his weight to 320.

"I didn't play a full game yet, so I can't really judge myself," Goldman said. "But I feel faster and quicker."

Business as usual?

Fourteen players, not including two on the physically unable to perform list, missed Tuesday's practice, and three others participated but in red ("no contact") jerseys.

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That could be a concern heading into the third preseason game, when starters usually see their most snaps before the regular season begins.

But coach John Fox says the injury situation isn't unique to the Bears.

"I think it's pretty much the same in the other 31 cities," he said. "It's been about the same for me the last 15 years. There's a difference between injuries and 'owes.'

"We've had a couple injuries, and now it's just about getting everybody healthy for (the regular-season opener in) Houston."

Rookie defensive end Jonathan Bullard was excused for a second straight day for personal reasons, but that isn't expected to keep him from playing in Saturday afternoon's third preseason game.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"More than likely, not," coach John Fox said when asked about Bullard missing the noon kickoff.

Bullard, a third-round pick from Florida, suffered a lower-leg injury at last Saturday night's practice at Warren High School and has not practiced since.

Wide receiver Kieren Duncan and linebacker Jarrett Grace did not practice due to illness, and linebacker Lamin Barrow (foot) did not finish.

Running back Senorise Perry (hamstring), rookie tight end Ben Braunecker (ankle), defensive end Cornelius Washington (ankle, knee) and linebacker Leonard Floyd (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Eddie Royal, tight end Zach Miller and cornerback Jacoby Glenn, all returning from concussions, participated in the team portion of practice.

But they wore red jerseys, meaning "no contact."

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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