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Bears’ Lucas Patrick returns to snapping footballs at center

The Bears might finally have their man in the middle play where they signed him to play.

NFL: JUN 15 Chicago Bears Minicamp Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

During Wednesday’s Bears practice, interior lineman Lucas Patrick returned to snapping balls at center for the first time since breaking his thumb in late July. It might be the first real sign that the big man is ready to helm the middle again for Chicago’s offensive front — where the Bears originally signed him to play in March.

Patrick had actually played in each of the Bears’ first two games of the 2022 season against the 49ers and Packers, albeit at guard. The veteran lineman was in a rotation of snaps with Teven Jenkins while wearing a cast/club on his arm. Wednesday was also the first day he didn’t have a cast or club on while practicing:

Before Sunday’s home matchup against the Texans, the Bears haven’t yet made any formal announcements about Patrick playing at center again. For what it’s worth, he is listed as the first center on the Bears’ formal depth chart. Though, that might be more formality than anything noteworthy, considering it was last updated before the Bears traveled to Green Bay.

For now, unless otherwise noted, Sam Mustipher still appears to be the starter. But this is the best sign that Patrick’s return to the middle might be on the near horizon.