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Injury Update: Who's in, who's out for Saints game

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Bears center Cody Whitehair on Friday was ruled out of Sunday's home game against the Saints with a calf injury he sustained in last Monday night's road loss to the Rams.

Whitehair, who was unable to practice all week, has started all 71 games since joining the Bears in 2016 as a second-round draft pick from Kansas State. Beginning in 2018, the 6-3, 313-pounder had not missed a single play in 39 games before exiting late in the third quarter versus the Rams.

After replacing Whitehair in Los Angeles, first-year pro Sam Mustipher is expected to make his first NFL start Sunday against the Saints. Mustipher signed with the Bears last year as an undrafted free agent from Notre Dame and spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad. The 6-2, 314-pounder remained on the practice squad for the first five weeks this season before being promoted to the active roster Oct. 14 after left guard James Daniels suffered a season-ending chest injury.

At Notre Dame, Mustipher started all 37 games over his final three seasons at center and graduated with a computer science degree.

The Bears are confident in Mustipher's ability to step in and handle all of the responsibilities that come with playing center in the NFL.

"The biggest thing probably is the communication with these centers in regards to the 'Mike' [linebacker] ID calls and the different looks you can get," said coach Matt Nagy. "The one thing I would say with a guy like Sam Mustipher is here's a guy that takes the game extremely seriously. He's been playing center for a long time. He's a natural born leader. You can feel it. Super hard worker.

"Are there times where things could happen, as in last week where you might get beat technique-wise here or there? Yeah. But it sure as heck isn't going to be because of effort and want. And so you take that, you combine that with his teammates on that line and you combine that with [offensive line coach] Juan Castillo and [assistant] Donny [Raiola], you just do nothing but just keep plugging away. I thought that Sam has had a really good week of practice, and now we'll see where it goes."

In other injury news, receiver Allen Robinson II remains in the NFL's concussion protocol and is listed as doubtful after sitting out practice all week. It remains uncertain whether Robinson, who suffered a concussion late in the loss to the Rams, will be able to play against the Saints.

"I've got to see how that goes with that whole protocol and what they say he can and can't do," Nagy said. "If he's able to pass through it and everything is good to go, of course we want him to be out there. I think that's probably the best answer for me to give you considering the protocol. It's kind of out of our hands."

Robinson leads the Bears in receiving with 44 catches for 544 yards and two touchdowns. The seventh-year pro has appeared in 36 of 39 games since signing with the Bears in 2018, missing two contests with a groin injury and one with a rib injury in 2018.

Four other Bears players are questionable for Sunday's game: Safeties Eddie Jackson (knee) and Sherrick McManis (hamstring) both practiced without restrictions Friday, while outside linebacker Khalil Mack (ankle) and wide receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson (quad) were limited.

The Saints, meanwhile, have ruled three players out of the contest, including star receiver Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring). The others are receiver Marquez Callaway (ankle) and guard Nick Easton (concussion).

Chicago Bears
Table - Injury report
PlayerInjuryGame status
PRO CAREER:


Two-time Pro Bowl selection (2018, 2019)
Has started all 76 games in which he has played in his career, missing just two games in 2018
Has six defensive touchdowns in his career, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2017; the first two came in the same game vs. CAR (10/22/17), a 75-yard fumble return and a 76-yard interception return; his third score was a 65-yard fumble return at BUF (11/4/18); fourth was a 27-yard interception return vs. MIN (11/18/18); the fifth was the very next week, a 41-yard interception return at DET on Thanksgiving (11/22/18); the sixth was an 8-yard fumble return at the LAR (10/26/20)
Owns 31 passes defensed, six fumble recoveries (three returned for TDs), 10 interceptions (three returned for TDs) and eight FF
His 76-yard INT and 75-yard fumble recovery for touchdowns vs. CAR (10/22/17) made him the first player in NFL history to return both a fumble recovery and interceptions 75+ yard touchdowns in the same game; also made him the first rookie in NFL history with multiple 75+ yard defensive touchdowns in the same game
Since 1970, he is the only other player with 3+ defensive touchdowns of 65+ yards in a 2-season span is Deion Sanders (3 in 1994)


HONORS:

2019: Pro Bowl Selection; ranked No. 30 on NFL's Top 100
2018: Pro Bowl, AP All-Pro, Sporting News All-Pro, PFWA All-NFL, NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 12 at DET), NFC Defensive Player of the Month (November)
2017: NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 7 vs. CAR)

2021 SEASON (Bears):


Started in 14 games, recording 76 tackles, four TFLs, two PDs and one FF
Recorded his eighth career forced fumble in the Week 2 home-opener win over the Bengals
Notched six tackles (four solo) in Week 3 vs. the Browns
Recorded eight tackles (six solo) in Week 6 vs. the Packers
Logged a season-high 11 total tackles vs. the Buccaneers, which also matches his career high (11/3/19, at PHI); he also surpassed 300 career tackles in the third quarter
Returned from an injury and recorded three tackles in the Week 12 win at the Lions
Logged five tackles and one TFL Week 13 vs. the Cardinals
Tied LB Roquan Smith and CB Artie Burns with a team-high nine tackles (seven solo) Week 14 at the Packers and recorded his first PD of the season
Contributed six solo tackles to the Bears Week 16 win at Seattle
Notched eight tackles and one TFL in the Week 17 win vs. the Giants


2020 SEASON (Bears):


Started all 16 games, recording 82 tackles, one TFL, three FF and five PD
Recorded a scoop-and-score touchdown on an 8-yard fumble return in Week 7 at the Rams, the sixth touchdown of his career and the third FR for touchdown; also had a season-high nine tackles
Recorded six tackles, including five solo, in the Week 1 win at Detroit; deflected a Matthew Stafford pass late in the fourth quarter that led to a Kyle Fuller interception, setting up Chicago's game-winning drive in the final minute
Eight tackles (seven solo) in the win over the Giants in Week 2; had a pick-6 called back due to penalty
Forced a fumble in the Week 6 win at the Panthers; had another pick-6 called back due to penalty
Tailled seven tackles and forced a fumble in Week 10 vs. Minnesota
Recorded six solo tackles in the Wild Card playoff game at the Saints


2019 SEASON (Bears):


Pro Bowl selection for the second straight yea
Started all 16 games, recording 60 tackles, five passes defensed, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one sack and five TFLs
Tied his career-high with 10 tackles at Denver (9/15) before besting that with 11 tackles at PHI (11/3
Recorded game-clinching interceptions in Week 13 at Detroit and in Week 17 at Minnesota


2018 SEASON (Bears):


Selected to his first Pro Bowl and named to the Associated Press All-Pro team after finishing fourth in the NFL with six interceptions
Started 14 games (inactive Games 15-16), recording 51 tackles, 14 pass defenses, six interceptions (two returned for a TD), one sack, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery (returned for a TD)
5-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown at BUF was his second career fumble recovery for a touchdown
Recorded first career sack vs. Seattle (9/17)
Active, but did not play in Wild Card playoff game vs. Philadelphia (1/6/19)


2017 SEASON (Bears):


Started all 16 games as a rookie, recording 70 tackles, 6 pass defenses, 3 fumble recoveries (1 returned for TD), 2 interceptions (1 returned for TD), 1 FF and 1 TFL
Jackson's 76-yard INT and 75-yard fumble recovery for touchdowns vs. CAR (10/22) made him the first player in NFL history to return both a fumble recovery and an INT 75+ yard TDs in the same game; also made him the first rookie in NFL history with multiple 75+ yard defensive touchdowns in the same game
His 75-yard fumble recovery was 3rd-longest in Bears history
Week 7 performance earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week Honors
Recorded multiple tackles in 13 of 16 games
Eddie Jackson
KneeQuestionable
PRO CAREER:


Entering his seventh NFL season in 2022; has started 95 games (60 at C, 33 at LG, 2 at RG) for the Bears; also has two postseason starts


HONORS:


2018: Pro Bowl selection
2016: PFWA All-Rookie Team


2021 SEASON (Bears):


Started in all 17 games of the 2021 season
Helped David Montgomery rush for 108 yards vs. the Rams in Week 1
Started at left guard in the Week 2 victory over the Bengals
Helped pave the way for the Bears to rush for 188 yards in the Week 4 win over the Lions
Helped the Bears rush for 143 yards in the Week 5 win at the Raiders
Paved the way for Bears QB Justin Fields to rush for a season-high 103 rushing yards Week 8 vs. the 49ers
Helped pave the way for the Bears to record a season-high 414 total net yards on offense Week 9 at the Steelers
Helped the Bears record 353 total net yards on offense Week 11 vs. the Ravens
Paved the way for the Bears to record 378 total net yards on offense during the Week 12 victory at Detroit
Helped RB David Montgomery record a season-high 141 all-purpose yards Week 13 vs. the Cardinals
Paved the way for the Bears to rush for two touchdowns and record 317 total net yards on offense in the Week 16 win at Seattle
Helped David Montgomery rush for two touchdowns in the Week 17 win vs. the Giants


2020 SEASON (Bears)


Played and started in 14 of 16 games; had started every game at center before an injury in Week 7; inactive for Weeks 8 & 9 with calf injury; returned Week 10 vs. MIN
Helped the Bears rush for 149 yards in the Week 1 win at Detroit, 135 in Week 2 vs. NYG and 130 in Week 3 vs. ATL
Helped pave the way for David Montgomery to rush for 103 yards in Week 12 at Green Bay
Helped the Bears rush for 140 vs. the Lions in Week 13, including three rushing scores, and 169 yards on the ground in the Week 14 win over the Texans
Helped pave the way for the Bears to rush for a season-high 199 yards and two rushing scores in the Week 15 win at Minnesota


2019 SEASON (Bears):


Started 16 games, the first eight at left guard before finishing the season at center for the final eight


2018 SEASON (Bears):


Named to his first Pro Bowl
Started 16 games at center; part of an offensive line that allowed just 33 sacks, tied for the third fewest in the NFC
Started Wild Card playoff game vs. PHI (1/6/19)


2017 SEASON (Bears):


Started 16 games; played three different positions on the offensive line: 12 at C, 2 at LG, 2 at RG
Help Jordan Howard become the first Chicago Bear to rush for 1,000+ yards in his first two seasons as a Bear


2016 SEASON (Bears):


Started all 16 games as a rookie for the Chicago Bears and paved the way for rookie Jordan Howard to rush for 1,313 yards (2nd in NFL)
Helped the Bears to the third most passing yards (gross and net) in franchise history
Cody Whitehair
CalfOut

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