LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) — With the veteran guard Nate Davis returning from a high ankle sprain, the Bears are once again reshuffling their offensive line.
When Chicago visits Detroit on Sunday, Davis is set to step back in as the Bears’ starter at right guard, the only position he has played during his five-year NFL career. With that, Teven Jenkins will shift from right guard back to left guard – where he played two games earlier this season prior to Davis’ injury. Lucas Patrick will remain the team’s starting center, which will move eight-year veteran offensive lineman Cody Whitehair to a reserve role for the first time in his career.
The 27-year-old Davis suffered his ankle injury in the Bears' loss to the Vikings on Oct. 15 and has missed the past four games. Barring a setback, Davis is expected to be a full participant in practice this week and start against the Lions on Sunday.
“We feel that’s our best five out there as we get healthy with our football team, so we’re excited about that,” coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday.
The Bears signed Davis to a three-year, $30-million contract in March to be a key cog for their offensive line. Davis has played in just four games, missing four contests with injury and two due to the death of his mother early in the season.
Jenkins shifted over to left guard prior to this season, a move that opened the right guard starting spot for Davis. Patrick has played in all 10 games and made nine starts this season while shifting from left guard to center.
The 31-year-old Whitehair has started all 117 games that he has played in for the Bears in his eight-year NFL career. He has never filled a reserve role, but that has now changed.
“Cody has been a true pro,” Eberflus said. “Obviously, a captain here for many years. (He has) had a great, long career, and he’s still going to continue to help us as we go. That’s our starting lineup for this week and you know things can happen like that, and he’s back into the mix at center or guard or wherever it might be. We’re fortunate that we have the flexibility to do that.”
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.