The Chicago Bears and their fans got treated to good news on Halloween: their best offensive player, wide receiver Allen Robinson, has cleared the league’s concussion protocol and will play against the New Orleans Saints Sunday afternoon, the team announced via Twitter.
The news comes a day after Robinson was listed as ‘doubtful’ on the team’s injury report, so his status against the Saints looked bleak as of yesterday. Things can change on a dime in this league, however, and having Robinson available is huge for a Bears offense that has been struggling mightily of late.
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Center Cody Whitehair Will Be Out, Sam Mustipher Will Fill In
The Bears starting center went down late in the game against the Rams with a calf injury and did not return. Bears head coach Matt Nagy said this week that Whitehair was “OK,” and that he doesn’t think the starting center’s injury is too serious — although his status for Sunday’s game against the Saints is now known.
Whitehair will be miss the team’s Week 8 matchup, and second-year center Sam Mustipher will start his first-ever NFL game. Mustipher, who was an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame last year, was on the team’s practice squad to start the season, but he was moved up to the active roster when backup center James Daniels went down for the year.
For his part, Mustipher says he’s been waiting for this opportunity his entire life. “A lot of people dream about throwing that touchdown pass. I dreamed about making that clean block on the best defensive player you can. And I know that sounds corny, but that’s what I prepared for, that’s what I trained for,” he said this week.
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Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, Cordarrelle Patterson All Questionable Sunday vs Saints
The Bears saw their best players on offense, defense and special teams miss practice for most of the week, with Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, Sherrick McManis and Cordarrelle Patterson all listed as questionable for Sunday’s late-afternoon battle against the Saints. McManis has been out since Week 6, but he practiced in full Friday, so his return is likely.
Mack and Jackson will most assuredly play after dealing with ankle and knee injuries, respectively, as Jackson also had a full practice Friday, and it would take far more than a tweaked ankle to keep Mack on the bench. Patterson should play, too, although Nagy may limit his offensive snaps and touches depending on the severity of the quad issue he’s working through.
Jackson confirmed his injury was nothing serious this week, as well, which is another good sign moving forward.
“I knew it wasn’t nothing too bad. I’ve been through the ACL. I’m fine. I’m feeling good,” he said, adding: “It was just a little scare. But I knew it wasn’t nothing too serious and it started to calm down, I started to feel much better. But I’m good.”