Chicago Bears get three crucial offensive pieces back and healthyRyan Heckmanon September 6, 2022 at 11:00 am

Over the past few weeks, the Chicago Bears have been making due with whom they have healthy on the practice field, and for game day during the preseason.

One of the biggest areas of concern, as of late, is at wide receiver. For a while now, the Bears have been pretty banged up at the receiver position, beginning with N’Keal Harry and his ankle injury, causing the recently-acquired wideout to go on IR.

Along with Harry, we have seen rookie Velus Jones Jr. and Byron Pringle miss lengthy time due to injuries, putting their Week 1 status very much in doubt.

However, on Monday, Bears fans received a great report from Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune as both Jones and Pringle, along with another key offensive piece, returned to practice.

The Chicago Bears got Velus Jones Jr., Byron Pringle and Lucas Patrick back at practice on Monday.

Along with the two wideouts, Chicago saw their starting center in Lucas Patrick get back on the practice field — with a shot to play on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Bears first practice of the week is over. Lucas Patrick (hand), Byron Pringle (quad) and Velus Jones Jr. were all back practicing today. Chicago had all 6 of its receivers participating during the portion open to media.

— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) September 5, 2022

Patrick has been out since late July with a hand injury, and the Bears didn’t initially know how long he would be out. At first, it sounded like Patrick would miss the start of the regular season when head coach Matt Eberflus said he’d be out a while.

Now, it looks like Patrick has a real chance to play Sunday at Soldier Field. This is huge news, because behind Patrick is Sam Mustipher, who is far less talented, specifically in pass blocking. Justin Fields will be a whole lot more comfortable with Patrick in front of him, rather than Mustipher.

As for the receiving core, it’s great to see that the Bears had all six of them healthy and participating in what seems like the first time in a month. The Bears have their hands full with the 49ers defense, who finished last season as the NFL’s sixth-best pass defense in terms of yards given up per game (the Bears finished third, for those counting at home — believe it or not).

Jones is surely to give this offense a boost whenever he has the ball in his hands, as evidenced by the few plays we saw against Seattle. Pringle, on the other hand, should function as a strong slot option with Darnell Mooney and Equanimeous St. Brown on the outside.

Chicago will be going up against an NFC Championship team from a year ago, albeit with a different quarterback under center. This is the Justin Fields vs. Trey Lance game, and the Bears’ offense should be at full strength come Sunday.

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