IR Swap: Bears Designated N'Keal Harry to Return, But Cody Whitehair Goes to Injured Reserve

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IR Swap: Bears Designated N’Keal Harry to Return, But Cody Whitehair Goes to Injured Reserve

Chicago Bears

Nothing like chewing on conflicting feelings about Chicago Bears IR news during the lunch hour.

Here’s the simplest breakdown: The Bears are putting offensive lineman Cody Whitehair on injured reserve. And on the other end of the spectrum, the Bears are designating wide receiver N’Keal Harry to return from IR. That the Bears are opening a 21-day practice window to activate Harry is a sign that things are progressing swimmingly. But that Chicago is also putting its longest-tenured (and best?) offensive lineman on IR makes me feel like Bears fans can’t have two nice things at once. Sigh. Let’s dissect further.

Whitehair’s move to IR comes days after he suffered a knee injury during Chicago’s loss against the New York Giants in Week 4. And even though Head Coach Matt Eberflus said he believes Whitehair will be back at some point this year, a stint on injured reserve always made sense. He’ll miss at least the next four games. Meaning he can’t return until Nov. 6 against the Dolphins — at the earliest.

Sliding Whitehair onto IR clears a roster spot that the Bears could get creative in using. Maybe they’ll sign a lineman off the waiver wire or free agency pile. Perhaps they’ll use the roster vacancy to flex a practice squad player onto the roster. The Bears have options, but how they’ll go about using them is a mystery considering we don’t have much of a history to base educated guesses off in a new regime’s first year.

As for Harry, his pending return from IR is welcome news. And not just because the Bears are in desperate need of receiver help. Harry suffered an ankle injury during training camp in August that required surgical repair. But instead of opting for surgery that could’ve knocked him out for the year, Harry’s procedure puts him in line to come back in a matter of weeks. The tightrope surgery expected to sideline Harry for eight weeks. It has been 7 weeks since it was reported that Harry was undergoing surgery. So we’re right in the thick of a window for his return. Stay tuned.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.