Report: Bears Center Lucas Patrick Expected to Have Surgery to Repair Hand Injury
Ugh. The Chicago Bears appear to be dealing with their first significant injury of training camp.
Brad Biggs of the Tribune has details on Lucas Patrick, who left Thursday’s practice early with an apparent hand injury — and could be out for a while:
Biggs shares the expectation that Patrick will need surgery to repair the right hand injury he suffered in the Bears’ second training camp practice of the summer. This is a significant blow, as things were lining up for Patrick to be the team’s starting center. Moreover, it was seeming like Patrick and quarterback Justin Fields were really hitting it off leading up to this point. Losing any starting offensive lineman stings. But it feels like you’re taking on an extra jab when it’s the man in the middle. One thing these Bears can’t afford is a wave of injuries to starters, as the depth simply isn’t there to cover up for lost time from players at the top of the depth chart. But they’ll have to make do with what they’ve got.
I suppose the silver lining here is that there is some optimism that Patrick could be back before the season-opener against the San Francisco 49ers. In other words, there seems to be a belief that this injury is one that will be cleared up in 44 days. And thus, allowing Patrick to get into the lineup in time for games of consequence. Even still … Patrick is losing developmental time with Fields and opportunities to build a rapport with his fellow starting linemen.
Because the expectation is that this won’t be a season-ending injury, I doubt we’ll see the Bears connected to a free agent like JC Tretter — even though his addition would make sense as a short-term plug-and-play upgrade option. In the meantime, rookie Doug Kramer is in line to get first-team center snaps. We’ll keep an eye on this situation as it develops.