Starting guard out, kicker is back for Bears against the Vikings


LAKE FOREST – There are two questions that were answered for the Bears as their week of preparations for the Vikings gets ready to begin on Wednesday.

As it turns out, they won’t have guard Cody Whitehair for their fifth game of the 2022 season in Minneapolis Sunday as a knee injury will cause him to “miss some time” according to to head coach Matt Eberflus.

While he doesn’t know how long that will be or if it will require a stay on injured reserve, he did tell media at Halas Hall on Monday that he doesn’t believe Whitehair’s injury is season-ending.

This will be just the second time that the guard will miss time in his entire NFL career as he’s started 99 of a possible 101 games since he was drafted by the team in 2016. He was inactive for the Week 8 game against the Saints in 2020 and then was on the COVID-19 list the following week against the Titans.

Whitehair started all 17 games for the Bears last season and it expected that Lucas Patrick, who filled in at left guard when he left Sunday, to remain there as Teven Jenkins remains at right guard.

“The guy’s started 99 games and has missed two during that career,” said Eberflus. “So you’re talking about tough.”

But the Bears won’t have to worry about their kicking situation for the Vikings game as they did last week as Cairo Santos will return for this week. He missed Sunday’s loss to the Giants with a personal matter but was already back at Halas Hall on Monday.

The full-time kicker for the Bears since the 2020 season, Santos has hit all four field goal attempts he’s taken this season and 4-of-6 extra points. Free agent Michael Badgley took his spot against New York last Sunday and hit all four of his field goal attempts.

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