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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
Player Injury Game status
PRO CAREER:


Two-time Pro Bowl selection (2018, 2019)
Has started all 62 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 seven 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)

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
Knee Questionable
PRO CAREER:


Six-time Pro Bowler (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) and three-time Associated Press All-Pro first-team (2015, 2016, 2018) and an AP All-Pro second team (2020)
2016 Associated Press and PFWA NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Became the first player in NFL history to be named to the Associated Press All-Pro First Team at two positions (DE & LB) in 2015
Named to his first Pro Bowl in 2015 after finishing second in the NFL with 15.0 sacks; tied a Raiders single-game franchise record with 5.0 sacks on Dec. 13, 2015 at Denver
Named to PFWA, Sports Illustrated and NFL.com All-Rookie Teams in 2014
Owns 15 career multi-sack games (9 with OAK, 6 with CHI)
Had 21.0 sacks from 2018-19, which were the most by a Bears player in his first two years with the team
His 22 forced fumbles since the start of 2015 are the most in the NFL during that span
Has recorded at least 1.0 sack in 23 games for the Bears, with the Bears going 16-6 in those games (7-2 in 2018, 5-2 in 2019 and 4-3 in 2020)
Has 66.5 sacks since the start of 2015, the third most in the NFL in that span; has 21.0 3rd-quarter sacks since the start of 2015, the most in the NFL; also has 41 sacks in the second half/overtime during that span, which is second best in the NFL behind only Aaron Donald
In his Bears debut (Week 1, 2018, at GB), he became the first player in franchise history to record a sack and an INT in his debut; recorded a sack and a forced fumble in each of the first four weeks in 2018, becoming the first player in NFL history to do so
In 13 primetime games with the Bears Mack has 11.0 sacks, eight forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown.


HONORS:


2020: Pro Bowl Selection; AP All-Pro (second team); PFWA All-NFL
2019: Pro Bowl Selection; ranked No. 3 on NFL's Top 100
2018: Pro Bowl Selection, AP All-Pro, Sporting News All-Pro, PFWA All-NFL, NFC Defensive Player of the Month (September)
2017: Pro Bowl Selection
2016: AP and PFWA Defensive Player of the Year, All-Pro Selection, Pro Bowl Selection
2015: All-Pro Selection, Pro Bowl Selection
2014: PFWA All-Rookie Team


2020 SEASON (Bears):


Led the team with 9.0 sacks on the year; recorded at least 1.0 sack in four straight games from Weeks 5-8
Sacked Texans QB Deshaun Watson in the end zone to log the Bears first safety since the season finale of 2019 at Minnesota by former LB Nick Kwiatkoski. Also, forced a fumble on Texans RB Duke Johnson in the first quarter in the Bears Week 14 win
Season-high 2.0 sacks for minus-14 yards in the Week 5 win over TB; also had three QBHs and one PD
Recorded 1.0 sack and 2 TFL in the Week 6 win at Carolina; also had 1.0 sack and a FF in Week 7 at the Rams
Recorded four tackles in the Week 1 win at Detroit
Recorded his first sack of the season in the Week 2 win over the Giants, dropping QB Daniel Jones for a loss of eight yards
Recorded 0.5 sack and two QBHs in the win at the Falcons
Recorded a strip-sack on Saints QB Drew Brees in the second quarter of the Week 8 matchup at Soldier Field
Intercepted Vikings QB Kirk Cousins in Week 10 and returned in 33-yards (career-long) which led to a Cairo Santos field goal


2019 SEASON (Bears):


Voted to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games for the fifth time in six years
Finished with a team-best 8.5 sacks, 14 QBH and five forced fumbles, which ranked fourth in the NFL
Recorded 4.5 sacks in Weeks 2-4 at Denver (1.0), at Washington (2.0) and vs. the Vikings (1.5)
Added 1.0 sack and two passes defensed vs. the Chargers
Also had 1.0 sack vs. the Giants and Chiefs


2018 SEASON (Bears):


Selected to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl; AP, PFWA and Sporting News All-Pro
Tied for the league lead with six forced fumbles
Recorded a team-high 12.5 sacks, good for sixth most in the NFL
Appeared in 14 games (13 starts), recording 47 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 11.0 tackles-for-loss, six forced fumbles, three passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one interception (returned for a touchdown)
Turned in an impressive debut for the Bears at GB in Week 1, recording 1.0 sack for minus-12 yards, one INT for a TD, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery; in doing so, he became the first player since 1982, when sacks became a statistic, to record a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an INT and touchdown in one half (source: Elias Sports Bureau)
Named NFC Defensive Player of the Month (September)


2017 SEASON (Raiders):


Started all 16 games and totaled a career-high 87 tackles (65 solo) to go along with 10.5 sacks
Named to his third straight Pro Bowl
Led the Raiders in sacks for the third consecutive season
Was one of two defensive players in the NFL with 70+ tackles and 10+ sacks (Joey Bosa, LAC) and was the only defensive player in the NFL to tally at least 75 tackles, 10.0 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery
Recorded nine tackles (seven) and posted a sack of QB Kirk Cousins, dropping him for a 9-yard loss in the first half at WAS
Totaled seven tackles and a season-high two sacks at Denver
Recorded four tackles, one sack, one FF and one FR vs. the Giants; late in the first half with the Giants driving, took down QB Geno Smith and simultaneously took the ball away from him, recording a forced fumble and fumble recovery on the play
Recorded six tackles and posted his second multi-sack contest of the year vs. Dallas


2016 SEASON (Raiders):


Turned in one of the most impressive seasons in Raiders history while earning his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection
Started all 16 games and totaled 77 tackles (56 solo), 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one INT returned for a TD and four passes defensed
Named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, becoming just the second player in franchise history (Lester Hayes, 1980) to earn the prestigious award
Was also named the PFWA's Defensive Player of the Year and the NFL 101 Awards' AFC Defensive Player of the Year
Named to the Associated Press All-Pro First Team and the Pro Football Writers of America's All-NFL Team
Named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for November after posting 13 tackles (10), four sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one INT-TD and two passes defensed, helping the Raiders go 3-0 in the month
Earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice (Week 9 vs. Denver and Week 12 vs. Carolina)
Led the team in sacks for the second straight season; also led team with three fumble recoveries
Tied an NFL record by recording a sack in eight straight games from Weeks 6-14
Tied for the team lead with seven tackles while recording a forced fumble and two sacks (10/30) at TB Recorded three tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed in the victory vs. DEN, earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors; helped limit the Denver offense to just 33 rushing yards in the game
Turned in one of the finest defensive performances in NFL history vs. Carolina, becoming the first player since Charles Woodson in 2009 to record a sack, interception returned for a touchdown, forced fumble and fumble recovery in the same game; earned his second AFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his performance, his second of the month; finished the game with seven tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one INT-TD, and one pass defensed; tallied his first career INT and first career TD when he intercepted a screen pass and returned it six yards for the score; on the Panthers' final offensive play of the game, forced and recovered a fumble to seal the victory
Went on to win the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for November


2015 SEASON (Raiders):


Started all 16 games and was named to his first Pro Bowl
Became the first player in NFL history to be named to the AP All-Pro First Team at two positions (DE & LB)
Finished second in the NFL with 15.0 sacks, falling just one sack short of the Raiders' franchise record
Posted 10 sacks over a four-game stretch from Weeks 12-15 and had four multiple-sack games
Credited with 79 tackles (58 solo), four passes defensed and two forced fumbles on the year
Named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after enjoying a career performance at Denver (12/13), tying the franchise record with five sacks, matching a mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long in 1983; all five sacks came in the second half
Posted second career two-sack game at CLE, getting to QB Josh McCown twice on a fourth-quarter series
Posted another standout performance, totaling eight tackles (seven) and two sacks vs. KC


2014 SEASON (Raiders):


Started all 16 games as a rookie, totaling 84 tackles (59 solo), four sacks, one forced fumble and four passes defensed
Became just the third rookie LB in Raiders history to start all 16 games, following Matt Millen (1980) and Reggie McKenzie (1985)
Posted first career multiple-sack game vs. SF, getting to QB Colin Kaepernick twice in the fourth quarter.
Finished third in voting for the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year Award
Selected to the Pro Football Writers of America, Sports Illustrated and NFL.com All-Rookie Teams
Only rookie named to the USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors 26 NFL players who exhibit exemplary football techniques for young players to emulate
Khalil Mack
Ankle Questionable
PRO CAREER:


Finished his fifth NFL season in 2020; has started 78 games (60 at C, 16 at LG, 2 at RG) for the Bears; also has two postseason starts
Had a streak of 71 consecutive games with a start snapped in Week 8 vs. NO
Paved the way for rookie Jordan Howard to 1,313 rushing yards (2nd in NFL) and also help Howard become the first Chicago Bear to rush for 1,000+ yards in his first two seasons as a Bear


HONORS:


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


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
Calf Out

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