Bears get starting offensive linemen Cody Whitehair, Larry Borom back for Dolphins game
They still won’t have their intended starting offensive line, but this is as close as they’ll get for a while.
Momentum continued to build for the Bears’ offense with the -expectation that two starting offensive linemen will be back Sunday against the Dolphins.
The Bears activated left guard Cody Whitehair from injured reserve, and right tackle Larry Borom cleared the concussion protocol and practiced in full for the first time Friday.
Whitehair started 99 of a possible 101 games before spraining his right knee in Week 4 against the Giants and missing four games. He has been back at practice for a week, and his performance was convincing as the Bears -debated whether he should return.
“His movement’s good; his jumps were good,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “The strength staff did a nice job of getting him ready to go, and he’s looked good in practice.”
Whitehair began his career as a center and made the Pro Bowl there in 2018, but has mostly played left guard the last four seasons. The Bears likely will keep Sam Mustipher at center and play Whitehair in his natural spot.
Whitehair is the Bears’ longest-tenured player, but missing significant time during a season was new to him. Nonetheless, he felt fully confident about returning after the layoff.
“It will take a little bit of time to adjust, but I’ve played enough ball,” he said. “It will be like riding a bike.”
The Bears still haven’t gotten their -intended starting offensive line on the field and won’t any time soon because center -Lucas Patrick is out with a toe injury. He is on injured reserve and can’t return until Week 12 against the Jets.
The only offensive lineman who hasn’t missed time this season is rookie left tackle Braxton Jones. He is the only player on the roster to play 100% of the snaps.
Bolstering the offensive line should only help quarterback Justin Fields and an offense that has been significantly better over the last four weeks. The Bears also hope to get a boost from new wide receiver Chase Claypool, whom they acquired from the Steelers.