It might be hard to believe, but D.J. Moore is possibly not the best weapon Justin Fields has on the Chicago Bears roster. For the first time this season, Fields will have what is arguably his best weapon. Will it help him find a way to defeat the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions?
When the offseason started, the Chicago Bears were planning on deploying a starting offensive line of Braxton Jones, Teven Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Nate Davis, and Darnell Wright. Due to injuries and personal matters, Fields never saw this offensive line combination. The closest he has come to see what is arguably the best offensive line combination the Bears could deploy was Larry Borom at left tackle for Braxton Jones, Cody Whitehair at left tackle, Lucas Patrick at center, Nate Davis at right tackle, and Darnell Wright at right tackle.
Well, Fields will not see the opening plan at offensive line vs. the Detroit Lions, but that's not because of injury. Instead, it's because Cody Whitehair has proven he is not capable of being a center in the NFL. He has had snapping issues from the start of his career and he was never supposed to be a center in this league. I thought moving him back could be beneficial as I find him to be an average guard in the NFL. Unfortunately, he has proven to be very unproductive at both guard and center this season. With Whitehair struggling, the Chicago Bears will be starting Lucas Patrick instead.
In fact, it will be the first time in 117 games that Cody Whitehair will not be starting.
Patrick is a much better snapper than Whitehair, but he's not proving to be a great center either. Ryan Poles will need to focus on upgrading the center position in 2024. With Patrick manning the middle spot on the offensive line, Justin Fields will have arguably his best offensive line combination of the 2023 season, and maybe his entire career. This will be important against a strong Lions' defensive front while Fields is coming back from a four-week absence due to a thumb injury.
The Chicago Bears are expected to start Braxton Jones, Teven Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Nate Davis and Darnell Wright on the offensive line today. Fields will likely still struggle to throw the ball, but he will have his best weapon of the season and with only seven games left in the year, he needs to prove he is the best option at quarterback beyond the 2023 season.