By Matt Zahn

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — COVID-19 is still very much a factor in the NFL, and the Bears’ final preseason opponent, Tennessee, now has nine players on the COVID-19 list, including Head Coach Mike Vraebel and quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

On Thursday for the final unofficial open practice of training camp, the Bears welcomed about 1,000 members of the military and first reponsders to watch practice.

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Tight end Jimmy Graham was born on a base and is a huge military supporter, so big he actually bought a helicopter from the Vietnam War and flies veterans in it.

“It’s interesting because I’m the pilot. I’m reconnecting guys with an aircraft that for a lot of Vietnam guys saved their life,” he said.

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Graham knows this Saturday’s game is an important one for many players on this Bears roster. It will be their final shot to make an impression and hopefully make the team.

“It’s the worst part of the year,” he said. “I’ve built relationships with these guys. It’s an inspiration to see guys fight, scratch and claw for their career. I don’t take that for granted whatsoever.”

The team had a little team golf outing Wednesday. For Graham, it was his second time ever swinging a club.

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He said, “I’m too athletic to play golf.”