Bears Lose Veteran for Season Amid Justin Fields Concerns

Patrick Season Over Fields

Getty Bears coach Matt Eberflus revelaed on Wednesday that Lucas Patrick would miss the rest of the 2022 season.

The Chicago Bears are shutting down veteran offensive lineman Lucas Patrick for the remainder of the 2022 season after he recently underwent a season-ending toe surgery, according to head coach Matt Eberflus.

The Bears had placed Patrick on injured reserve on October 27 after he needed to be carted off the field with a toe injury in their Week 7 win over the New England Patriots. While he would have been eligible for re-activation ahead of Week 12’s matchup with the New York Jets, Eberflus confirmed that would be happening for the rest of the year.

“He actually had surgery a couple of weeks ago and he will not be back with us this year,” Eberflus told reporters on November 23. “He’s been in every meeting, been engaged. He had the toe injury and we ended up surgically repairing that, but he’s been engaged the last couple of weeks, he’s good to go [on the mental side], but yeah.”

Patrick had been making his first start at center for the Bears during the game in which he injured his toe. While Chicago had originally been eyeing him for the role coming into training camp, he broke his hand in one of the first practices and needed time to let it heal before the Bears were confident in giving him snapping responsibilities. Still, he played about 250 snaps between right and left guard before getting the nod at center and was a valuable member of the rotation at any of the three interior spots.

With Patrick’s return now certain to not happen in 2022, the Bears will have to make things work at center with Sam Mustipher for the remainder of the season. According to Pro Football Focus, the fourth-year center has played much better in terms of pass protection since Patrick’s injury, allowing just three pressures and no sacks over his last five performances after 10 pressures and a sack in his first six games of the season.

Fields Cleared to Practice But Remains ‘Day-to-Day’

While losing Patrick for the rest of the season isn’t a great revelation, the bigger injury news on Wednesday was the status of starting quarterback Justin Fields and the non-throwing shoulder that he injured in Week 11’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

There have been conflicting reports about how badly Fields injured his shoulder when he was taken down out of bounds on the first play of their final drive against the Falcons. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport initially reported Fields had dislocated his non-throwing shoulder, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter disputed the report and said he was told the injury was “not a dislocation” — which is worse than a separated shoulder.

Unfortunately for curious fans, Eberflus didn’t get into the specifics about Fields’ injury when speaking with media on Wednesday, but he did say that Fields had been cleared to practice and was considered a limited participant on the day’s injury report.

“Justin remains day-to-day,” Eberflus said Wednesday. “He’s been cleared to practice today, and since it’s a walkthrough, the [injury report] estimation is that he would be limited in practice, so that’s where he is right now. And again, we’ll assess that as we go through the week. He’s feeling pretty good and we’ll see where it goes from there, day-to-day.”

Eberflus Explains Situation With Teven Jenkins’ Injury

Eberflus also shed some light on the status of right guard Teven Jenkins and why they had him ride the bench in favor of Michael Schofield III against the Falcons. Jenkins had come into the game as questionable to play with a hip injury, but he was seemingly set to return to the lineup after not being included in the pregame inactives. Instead, Jenkins watched the game from the bench and didn’t play a single snap, leaving fans perplexed about why he was even active if he couldn’t play.

Turns out, Jenkins could have played and would have if a backup had been needed, but the Bears were concerned about giving him his full-time duties back after he aggravated his hip more throughout the week of practice.

“Teven was working through the week and ended up aggravating it more during the course of the week,” Eberflus said on Wednesday. “It went down to where he was going to rotate, then he was gonna be a backup. So that’s where the player thought he was, that’s where the medical staff thought it was and that’s where we put him. He was there to be available for us — if we needed him.”

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