Sunday seemingly will mark the beginning of the end for Cody Whitehair’s time with the Chicago Bears.
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus told reporters on Wednesday that veteran right guard Nate Davis is expected to return after missing the team’s previous four games recovering from a high-ankle sprain.
Davis will be the starting right guard for the Bears on Sunday against the Detroit Lions with Teven Jenkins moving back to the starting left guard spot. Lucas Patrick will remain the team’s starting center and what this means for Whitehair is that for the first time since he was drafted in 2016, he will not be a part of the Bears’ starting offensive line when healthy.
The expectation has. been that the Bears will cut Whitehair this off-season and in doing so, the team would save north of $9MM according to Spotrac.
It has been a difficult season for Whitehair as he has struggled in his blocking assignments and also with snaps when placed into the rotation as the team’s center. While the Bears certainly would be in the right to move on from Whitehair after this season, that does not take away from the impact he had. Look no further than what former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long had to say about Whitehair.
This season has represented a passing of the torch for the Bears’ offensive line. Whitehair, for much of his time with the Bears, has been viewed as the team’s offensive lineman but that is an honor that may now belong to Jenkins.
When healthy, Jenkins has proven to be a difference-maker on the offensive line for the Bears and he has thrived at either guard position. While there was a legitimate case that Jenkins should remain at right guard given the success that he had next to right tackle Darnell Wright, the hope is he can bring some stability to the left side.