Close the book on James Daniels’ 2020 season.
The third-year guard was officially placed on Injured Reserve Wednesday, nearly one week after suffering a pectoral injury that caused him to miss most of the second half of the Bears’ win against the Buccaneers. In a corresponding move, the team promoted offensive lineman Sam Mustipher to the active roster.
Mustipher, 24, has spent the last two seasons on the team’s practice squad. So through that lens, it’s nice to see his patience pay off in an elevation to a reserve role on the big club.
Before arriving in Chicago, Mustipher played his college ball at Notre Dame, where he finished with 36 consecutive starts at center for the Fighting Irish. As a senior, Mustipher was PFF’s seventh-highest-graded run-blocking center in college football. Mustipher also made appearances on the Rimington Award and Outland Trophy watch lists. Those awards go out to college football’s best offensive lineman. And while he didn’t win them, being on a preseason watch list is notable.
Considering his previous experience, Mustipher likely slides in as the team’s backup center behind Cody Whitehair. But here’s hoping Chicago doesn’t have to go to that emergency option.