Hours before Monday night's home game against the Vikings at Soldier Field, the Bears added five veteran players to their active roster.
The team activated center Cody Whitehair from the reserve/COVID-19 list; promoted running back Lamar Miller and offensive lineman Eric Kush from the practice squad; signed defensive tackle Daniel McCullers from the practice squad; and elevated quarterback Tyler Bray from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement.
Whitehair suffered a calf injury Oct. 26 in a loss to the Rams and then sat out a Nov. 1 defeat to the Saints—the first game he missed in five seasons with the Bears. He was then placed on the COVID-19 list Nov. 6, sidelining him for a Nov. 8 loss to the Titans.
First-year pro Sam Mustipher started at center against the Saints but sustained a knee injury that forced him to sit out versus the Titans. Mustipher is listed as doubtful on the injury list for Monday night's game versus the Vikings. First-year pro Alex Bars, a natural guard, started at center against the Titans, the first time he had ever played the position in a game.
Miller could help the Bears replace starting running back David Montgomery, who will miss his first game in two NFL seasons with a concussion he suffered against the Titans.
Miller has appeared in 105 NFL contests with 89 starts over seven seasons with the Dolphins (2012-15) and Texans (2016-18), rushing for 5,864 yards and 32 touchdowns on 1,354 carries and catching 209 passes for 1,565 yards and 8 TDs. Miller was voted to the Pro Bowl with Houston in 2018 after running for 973 yards, but he missed all of last season with a torn ACL.
Kush was signed to the practice squad last Tuesday to provide experienced depth on a depleted offensive line. Kush returns for a second stint in Chicago, having played for the Bears from 2016-18. In 2016, the 6-4, 317-pounder appeared in eight games with four starts—all at left guard in place of the injured Josh Sitton. In one of those contests, the Bears upset the Vikings 20-10 behind an offense that produced 403 total yards.
Kush missed the entire 2017 season after suffering a torn hamstring in training camp. He returned in 2018 to start the first seven games at left guard, though he shared time with rookie second-round pick James Daniels in the final four of those contests.
Kush played for the Chiefs (2013-14) and Rams (2015) before joining the Bears the first time. After leaving Chicago, he appeared in all 16 games with seven starts for the Browns last season.
McCullers was added to the roster from the practice squad for the second straight week after recording four tackles in his Bears debut against the Titans. The 6-7, 352-pounder spent the past six seasons with the Steelers, appearing in 73 games with three starts and registering 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 4.0 tackles-for-loss.
The Bears are thin on the defensive line, with tackle Eddie Goldman opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, end Roy Robertson-Harris on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and tackle John Jenkins ruled out of Monday night's game with a hand injury.
With Mitchell Trubisky set to miss his second straight game due to a right shoulder injury, Bray will again serve as the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Nick Foles. Since joining the Bears in 2018, Bray has split time between the active roster and practice squad but has not appeared in a regular-season game.
Prior to joining the Bears, Bray spent his first five NFL seasons as a backup with the Chiefs, where he worked with Bears coach Matt Nagy. Bray has appeared in one NFL regular-season game, failing to complete his only pass attempt in Kansas City's 2017 season finale. He spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons on injured reserve.