Bears center Lucas Patrick won’t return this season after having toe surgery earlier this month.
Coach Matt Eberflus revealed the surgery Wednesday. Otherwise, Patrick would have been eligible to return to practice this week after spending four games on injured reserve.
Patrick left the Bears’ Oct. 24 win against the Patriots in the first quarter and was replaced by Sam Mustipher, who had been benched days earlier.
Patrick was the Bears’ biggest offseason offensive splurge. The team signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal to lure him away from the rival Packers. Bears general manager Ryan Poles said then that the team valued his mean streak and hoped it would be spread across the offensive line.
He hurt his thumb early in training camp, though, and was forced to play guard rather than his preferred position of center at the start of the season. His move back to center for the Patriots game was part of the Bears’ self-analysis during a 10-day break.