The Chicago Bears have chosen to sit their highest-paid offensive lineman for their game against the Detroit Lions in Week 11. The Bears needed to come up with a new starting five up front, with Nate Davis set to make his first start since the Minnesota Vikings game.
The Chicago Bears will bench Whitehair
The Bears are moving Teven Jenkins back to left guard; Davis will start at right guard. According to Nicholas Moreano with CHGO Sports, head coach Matt Eberflus said Lucas Patrick will continue as the starter at center. That means Cody Whitehair will ride the bench against the Lions.
Matt Eberflus also said that Lucas Patrick will remain at center.
So that means Cody Whitehair is currently out of the starting five on the offensive line.
— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) November 15, 2023
Whitehair is the Bears’ highest-paid offensive lineman. According to Spotrac, Whitehair’s cap count is at $14.1 million this season, accounting for 6.07 percent of the team’s total cap space for 2023.
Davis is the Bears second-highest-paid offensive lineman. His cap hit is at $6.9 million.
The Bears made the decision to bench Whitehair for the same game they expect Justin Fields to return as a starter. Fields will need to use the rest of the season to show the Bears and the NFL world he can play the quarterback position well enough to get another opportunity in 2024.
The fact that Fields’ offensive line is bad enough that their highest-paid offensive lineman is a backup shows how terrible the third-year quarterback has had it for protection in Chicago.
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