Bears center Lucas Patrick breaks thumb but likely back for season opener: source

In the meantime, the Bears plan to run sixth-round pick Doug Kramer at center in his place.

SHARE Bears center Lucas Patrick breaks thumb but likely back for season opener: source
A photo of Bears center Lucas Patrick at an offseason practice.

Bears GM Ryan Poles views Patrick as essential to the offensive line on and off the field.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Center Lucas Patrick, the Bears’ signature addition on the offensive line, will miss significant time after getting hurt in the second practice of training camp.

Patrick broke his right thumb, a source said, but the initial assessment is that he’ll be back for the season opener. While it’s certainly an inconvenience as the Bears try to establish their line, they have more than six weeks before they face the 49ers.

“There is no timetable on the return because we don’t have to disclose that, so we’re not going to give that out for anybody,” coach Matt Eberflus said Friday. “That’s how it is.”

It’s unnecessary to be so guarded about injury information in July, but Eberflus insists on that approach to avoid giving a “competitive advantage” to the rest of the NFL.

“I don’t want people in our division . . . I don’t want people in the league looking at our roster saying, ‘Hey, they’re going to do this [or] do that,’ with injuries,” he said.

In the meantime, all options are on the table for the offensive line.

Sixth-round pick Doug Kramer out of Illinois was next in line when Patrick exited Thursday, but the Bears also gave veteran Sam Mustipher snaps at center Friday. Mustipher started every game at center last season, then shifted to right guard when Patrick arrived.

General manager Ryan Poles viewed Patrick, who turns 29 on Saturday, as an essential part of his offensive-line overhaul when he signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal. He played in 73 games (34 starts) in five seasons for the Packers and didn’t miss a game the last two seasons.

Jenkins out again

Speaking of Eberflus’ secrecy, he provided little clarity on offensive tackle Teven Jenkins, who missed his second consecutive practice.

“He’s working through something with the trainers, OK, and it’s a day-to-day thing,” Eberflus said. “When he’s able to return, he will return.”

Not very helpful.

When Jenkins comes back, it’s unclear where — or if — he fits on the offensive line. He’s already behind fifth-round pick Braxton Jones and fellow 2021 draftee Larry Borom, and the Bears are still expecting veteran Riley Reiff to vie for a spot.

Reiff, who spent most of his career at left tackle and started 12 games at right tackle for the Bengals last season, signed Tuesday and is on an individual ramp-up plan.

Kamara activated

The Bears opened camp with two players on the physically unable-to-perform list: linebacker Roquan Smith and defensive end Sam Kamara. They activated Kamara on Friday.

Kamara broke through as an undrafted free agent out of Stony Brook last year and played defense and special teams in eight games.

Smith, meanwhile, remains sidelined — literally — as he and the Bears spar over a contract extension. He was in uniform at practice Friday but watched from the side.

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