By Matt Zahn

CHICAGO (CBS) — There will be no fans at Soldier Field as the Bears start their season.

The decision came Monday night. The Bears came to the decision together with city officials, saying because of coronavirus numbers right now, they cannot safely allow fans in the stadium.

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The Bears said they will continue to monitor the situation and bring back fans once it’s safe.

Meanwhile, in a COVID world, Monday was a big day for Bears as the season is scheduled to kick off in less than a month. The Bears first practice in full pads. And not in Bourbonnais this year. CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reports from Halas Hall where the Bears can only have 14 of these practices over the next three weeks.

Practice during a pandemic looks a lot like any other practice. The coaches all had masks on and there are no fans for this training camp. But once the hitting started, it felt normal.

“This whole situation has put us out whack. Coming back to football has given us a sense of regularity. It does feel good to be back out there. It does feel like football again,” said defensive tackle Akiem Hicks.

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“It’s been a little weird with the whole situation with COVID, but to finally get back out there felt good,” said defensive tackle Bilal Nichols.

Of course, the big battle in camp is at QB. With no preseason games, Mitchell Trubisky versus Nick Foles will be decided on the practice field, but just don’t expect a decision anytime soon.

“We are going to stretch that out as far as we possibly can,” said head coach Matt Nagy.”There’s limited reps. Maximize those numbers. Literally take it as far as we can go. These guys both have experience and I think that’s the only way it’s fair.”

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