Because of the thumb injury to Lucas Patrick, the Chicago Bears have essentially deployed a six-man offensive line rotation. Sam Mustipher has been starting at center, while Lucas Patrick and Teven Jenkins have rotated at right guard.
When Matt Eberflus was asked about the situation he made it clear that the only thing stopping Patrick from starting at center was his injury. If he were healthy, there would not be a rotation. So, that is why news of Patrick snapping on Wednesday for the first time all season is such a big deal.
Patrick only took a few snaps at center, and then moved back to right guard, where he split work with Teven Jenkins. When you add that to the fact that it is Wednesday, and he was not snapping on Tuesday, this week feels more like an easing in than a changing of the guard.
This makes sense for the Chicago Bears. They can get him a little work here and there this week, but they will likely keep their rotation.
Then, after Patrick has three days of limited work at center, he can get a full week of work at center the following. That would be the time to make the change permanent.
If Patrick is able to spend the whole day Thursday at center, perhaps it does speed up the timeline, and we do see Mustipher had back to the bench against the Texans. However, Chicago has slowly played injuries and has worked to keep the team as healthy as possible, so it would be more on par for them to give Patrick another week and then see where he stands.
Either way, it is going to be clear that all eyes will be on the offensive line Thursday and Friday. How much work Patrick gets at each position will be telling.