The Chicago Bears decided to shake up their offensive line heading into their Monday Night Football showdown with the New England Patriots, but they only made it two series on offense before an injury forced them to switch back.
Bears interior lineman Lucas Patrick — who got the start over Sam Mustipher at center against the Patriots — went down with a toe injury in the first quarter of Monday night’s game and was carted away into the locker room after a long stay in the medical tent. Chicago later updated his status as “doubtful” to return for the rest of the game.
With Patrick injured, the Bears will almost certainly have to finish the game with Mustipher back in at center. The 2019 undrafted free agent has started 30 career games for the Bears at the position but has often struggled to play up to an appropriate standard as both a run-blocker and a pass-blocker. If Patrick has to miss extended time, they could call up Dieter Eiselen from the practice squad to back up Mustipher.
The Bears also saw right guard Teven Jenkins come off the field after Justin Fields’ interception in the second quarter. He was slow to get up at the end of the play and went into the medical tent on the sideline, but he returned for the next drive.
The Bears were leading 20-14 over the Patriots at halftime and will receive the ball to start the second half after winning the toss and deferring.
Bears Could Need O-Line Help at Trade Deadline
Even before Patrick’s injury, the Bears had seen better days on their offensive line. The one trustworthy veteran they have — left guard Cody Whitehair — is currently on injured reserve with a knee injury he suffered in Week 4’s loss to the New York Giants on October 2. He also won’t be eligible to return until Week 9 at the earliest.
Otherwise, the Bears’ offensive line features a rookie left tackle (Braxton Jones) and a pair of second-year draft picks (Jenkins and Larry Borom) in starting roles, all of whom have struggled at varying degrees. The Bears do have some O-line veterans on their roster in Michael Schofield III — who got the start at left guard against New England — and offensive tackle Riley Reiff, but the fact that neither of them was a Day 1 starter or has contributed much this season is concerning, to say the least.
If the Bears feel reinforcements are necessary to finish the season, they could potentially look to make a move before the trade deadline on November 1. Panthers offensive tackle Brady Christensen could be available after Carolina indicated they are looking to sell with their Christian McCaffrey, but there are also some other candidates out there (Broncos guard Dalton Risner, Carolina guard Austin Corbett, etc.) who could make sense for the Bears to boost their trenches.
Lucas Patrick is right where he should be — on IR (just like so many other Ryan Poles’ additions to this team). Patrick seems to have been imposed on the coaching staff (and offensive line) by Ryan Poles — because he did nothing to demonstrate that he earned starting at RG, LG and C (which he did).
He is a former UDFA, who did very little in his time with Green Bay — and even less in Chicago.
Enjoy you time off, Lucas. We’ll hardly miss you.