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Hoge's Bears Things: Offensive line shuffle and my prediction for Bears-Raiders

Adam Hoge Avatar
October 20, 2023

Good morning, Bears fans.

The Bears’ offensive line is not in a good place, and yet, one of the five best available linemen might not even start on Sunday against the Raiders.

Let’s review:

• Left tackle Braxton Jones remains on IR with a neck injury. 

• Left guard Teven Jenkins is now getting reps at right guard.

• Center Cody Whitehair was benched last week and is now getting reps at left guard, where he started the season.

• Lucas Patrick appears to be back at center.

• Right guard Nate Davis has a high ankle sprain and won’t be playing anytime soon.

• Backup right guard Ja’Tyre Carter is apparently still a backup.

• Right tackle Darnell Wright has a shoulder injury and did not practice Thursday.

• Backup backup center/guard Dan Feeney suffered a knee injury this week. 

Got all that? Me neither. And I wrote it. 

Assuming Wright will be good to go by Sunday, there’s a good chance the O-line will look like this from left to right: Borom, Whitehair, Patrick, Jenkins, Wright.

At least, that’s what Adam Jahns reported on Hoge & Jahns Thursday.

That means Carter, despite playing well in relief multiple times this season, will still be relegated to backup duty — unless he’s called upon to play tackle for Wright. Personally, I’m surprised the Bears wouldn’t start Carter at right guard, essentially choosing to move Jenkins to right guard to keep Whitehair in the lineup. 

Regardless of the combination, I know this: the communication up front has to be much, much better. Especially with an undrafted Division II quarterback making his first NFL start Sunday. The hope is that by putting Patrick back in the center spot, that communication will improve. As shown in these two plays last week against the Vikings, it’s been a major problem

As for what I expect from Tyson Bagent? I expect him to get the ball out quickly and surprise folks with a few accurate intermediate throws. But given all the issues up front, and Bagent’s inexperience, I’d be surprised if the Bears don’t turn the ball over at least twice. It’s just what happens when rookies play quarterback in the NFL.

My prediction: Raiders 20, Bears 16. See all of the above for reasoning. 

Up Next: The CHGO Bears Podcast will give you an in-depth preview of this game at Noon CT today. And don’t forget, another one of our amazing CHGO Bears tailgates is happening Sunday morning. Get your tickets and join us! 

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