With the Bears starting the same offensive line combination in three straight games for the first time this season, the continuity up front has been evident.
"You're definitely seeing that chemistry [and] communication," said offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. "The different styles of defenses that we play, some put extreme circumstances out there that the communication has to be on point. When you play next to each other, sometimes you don't have to speak those words; you just know what each other is going to do. I think that's the long-term benefit of those guys playing next to each other that that'll happen even more."
The line's cohesiveness was evident last Sunday when the Bears turned a free play against the Lions into a go-ahead touchdown. Jenkins called out a dummy protection adjustment and Patrick snapped the ball as soon as defensive end Aidan Hutchinson bit on Justin Fields' hard count and jumped offsides.
Fields calmly rifled a 38-yard touchdown pass to DJ Moore, giving the Bears a 19-13 lead in an eventual 28-13 victory at Soldier Field.
"Take that play alone and the operation of everybody knowing how to respond at the right time with the protection that happens on the fly and routes that happen on the fly," Getsy said. "All that stuff is a benefit to playing with each other."
Brisker a game-changer
Safety Jaquan Brisker is impressing teammates on and off the field. The 2022 second-round pick from Penn State recorded 17 tackles last Sunday versus the Lions, the most by a Bears defensive back since at least 1970. But Brisker is doing other things to earn respect in the locker room as well.
"Cody Whitehair had an amazing block on a field goal," Patrick said. "That might be the toughest position in football that nobody really talks about. He ends up blocking three guys. Cairo [Santos] nails the kick. Brisker turns right around in the team meeting room and compliments Cody.
"When somebody does that, and they step out and have a game like he did and brings it every play, brings it in practice, you can't not respect him. I know he's a second-year player and people can say, 'what?' But he does not act like a second-year player. He's earned the respect of us, and he's tougher than nails. What he does week-in, week-out to get his body right to come in and be the impact player he is, is super impressive. He's got all my respect in the world. I love having him on the field. He's a game-changer."
Bears coach Matt Eberflus praised Fields Wednesday for having improved his pocket presence, something that Getsy has witnessed as well.
"The biggest thing behind all that is just the awareness of what's going on around you," Getsy said. "When you know what you're doing and you know what the people around you are doing, that gives you comfort to go play a little more free. The more he plays, the more that's going to continue to grow. I think that's more a natural progression for a young guy.
"Pocket presence is one of the hardest things that position has to do. You've got these crazy beasts all over, running around all over the place. How do you avoid? When's it time to escape? When's it time to slide? And throw? Justin and I will both stand here and say we're not where we want to be with that. The improvement continues to grow each and every week, for sure."
Moore returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with an ankle injury.
Brisker did not practice after being limited Wednesday with a groin injury. Receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (pectoral) also did not practice.
Linebacker Noah Sewell was limited with a knee injury.
The Bears were back on the practice fields at Halas Hall to continue their preparation for Sunday's road game against the Cleveland Browns.