What does it mean for Patterson?
It feels wise to imagine Patterson still lines up in an assortment of spots for a few reasons. For one, the Bears’ wide receiving corp behind Allen Robinson is brimming with potential, but that’s what they are: potential.
And last season, only 8.9 percent of Patterson’s snaps came at the running back position. To expect him to completely shift to the tailback position with so little experience, would be unwise. The transition feels like a long time coming, since he had 17 carries for 103 yards, and he caught 11 passes for 83 yards.
If they play their cards right, the Bears can use it to their advantage, too. In Ty Montgomery’s case, the fact that he was a running back wearing No. 88 gave the Packers’ offense a boost since defenses couldn’t quite tell pre-snap, and it gave a slight competitive advantage to Green Bay.
History says that players changing positions could be on shaky ground at first. But a few jukes and spins from Patterson could go a long way toward helping the Chicago Bears elude a confusing stretch here early in the season.