After shuffling players in and out of the lineup, the Bears offensive line is finally beginning to develop some stability at a very opportune time.
The tide began to turn Aug. 28 when left tackle Jason Peters began his first full week of workouts, right tackle Germain Ifedi practiced for the first time in training camp and right guard James Daniels continued to ramp up after missing the first two preseason games.
"Continuity is big on the offensive line, but we know injuries and stuff like that happens, too," Whitehair said. "Especially with the pandemic and stuff, you just have to expect the unexpected. The last two weeks have been good. We have gotten some good work and we feel good where we are at."
The cohesiveness the line is building should help Sunday night when the Bears open the regular season in Los Angeles against the Rams, whose defense was ranked No. 1 in the NFL last year.
One constant throughout the spring and summer has been Mustipher, who's responsible for making the line calls.
"It's nice when you have a center in there like Sam has been because he kind of tells us where to go initially," Whitehair said. "That's been nice to have him and his voice there the whole time in training camp. But it's a next-man-up kind of business and job. The guys that have stepped into those roles have done a good job. But like I said, it's been nice to have the starters in there the last two weeks, and we have grown together in the last two weeks really well."
Injury update: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman did not practice Wednesday due to knee and ankle injuries. Tight end Jimmy Graham was given a veteran day off.
Players who were limited included outside linebackers Khalil Mack (groin) and Robert Quinn (back), inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder) and receiver Darnell Mooney (back).
Numbers game: Linebacker Danny Trevathan will sport a new look when he returns from injured reserve. Taking advantage of a new rule this year that expands the range of numbers certain position groups can wear, Trevathan is switching from No. 59 to No. 6.
Trevathan has worn No. 59 in all nine of his NFL seasons up to this point with the Broncos (2012-15) and Bears (2016-20). He's switching to No. 6 because it's the first number he wore in Pee-Wee football.
Trevathan becomes the second Bears defender to switch to a single digit, joining safety Eddie Jackson, who went from No. 39 to No. 4, the number he wore at Alabama. Since Don Kindt donned No. 6 with the Bears from 1947-56, it has only been worn by four Chicago players: kickers Hans Nielsen (1981) and Kevin Butler (1985-95) and quarterbacks Jay Cutler (2009-16) and Mark Sanchez (2017).
Senior writer Larry Mayer ranks his 10 favorite Bears players who changed jersey numbers prior to the 2021 season.
Roster moves: The Bears on Wednesday made a handful of changes to their practice squad, signing defensive tackle Margus Hunt and nose tackle Damion Square and releasing running back Artavis Pierce and defensive tackle Auzoyah Alufohai.
Born in Estonia, Hunt has appeared in 104 NFL games with 26 starts in nine seasons with the Bengals (2013-16 and 2020), Colts (2017-19) and Saints (2020), registering 114 tackles, 26 tackles-for-loss and 8.5 sacks. The 6-8, 295-pounder was selected by Cincinnati in the second round of the 2013 draft out of SMU.
Square has played in 91 NFL games with 24 starts in seven seasons with the Eagles (2013), Chiefs (2014) and Chargers (2014-20), recording 120 tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks. He also spent time with the Browns and Saints this summer. The 6-2, 293-pounder entered the NFL with Philadelphia in 2013 as an undrafted free agent from Alabama.