The Bears announced Friday that center Cody Whitehair will not play Sunday afternoon against the Saints, so that means Sam Mustipher will be getting his first NFL start. Not necessarily the best news for a line that’s had its share of issues already, but the team has maintained confidence in the backup.
“A lot of people dreamed about throwing that touchdown pass,” Mustipher told the media. “I dreamed about making that clean block on the best defensive player you can.”
Allen Robinson is still in the concussion protocol and initially listed as questionable, but has been downgraded to doubtful. However, he could still play if he’s cleared prior to the game. Khalil Mack (ankle), Cordarrelle Patterson (quad), Eddie Jackson (knee), and Sherrick McManis (hamstring) are all listed as questionable. Mack was able to practice in a limited capacity after missing the last two days, so that’s a good sign.
Bears Friday injury report: CODY WHITEHAIR IS OUT. Allen Robinson, Khalil Mack, Cordarrelle Patterson, Eddie Jackson, and Sherrick McManis all questionable for Sunday against the Saints.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) October 30, 2020
Cole Kmet was at a full go after being limited earlier in the week, though we’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out whether he will actually get in on more than a third of the snaps. He grew up near Chicago and played at Notre Dame, so he’s no stranger to the cold and said Friday that he was excited for “Bear Weather.”
The Bears are going to need every advantage they can get in this one against a New Orleans team that has lots of weapons, though they will not have All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas back. He isn’t yet ready despite finally returning to practice after missing the last several games due to lingering ankle and hamstring issues. Maybe the extra motivation for Akiem Hicks, who was cut by the Saints in 2015 and has since become a monster, will help tip the scales back to Chicago.