LAKE FOREST – The Bears will be without one of their starting guards for an extended period of time, and that’s a rarity for this player during his tenure in Chicago.

Cody Whitehair, who has started 101 out of a possible 103 regular season and playoff games since arriving in the NFL since 2016, is headed to short-term injured reserve after suffering a knee injury against the Giants.

That means he will miss a minimum of four weeks before he can return to the Bears’ lineup, though head coach Matt Ebeflus said he doesn’t believe his injury is season-ending. Whitehair has only missed two games – both in 2020 – in his NFL career since he was chosen by then general manager Ryan Pace in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Lucas Patrick, who filled in at left guard after his injury, is expected to remain in that position for the time being with Whitehair out of the lineup.

As he exits the lineup, the Bears will get someone back from injured reserve in his place: Wide receiver N’Keal Harry.

He’s been designated to return to the lineup after he underwent surgery to repair damage from a high ankle sprain suffered during training camp. He was acquired by the Bears in a trade this summer with the Patriots in exchange for a 2024 seventh round selection.

A first round pick in 2019 in New England, Harry is hoping to make the most of a new opportunity in Chicago after an inconsistent tenure with the Patriots. Will that chance to play come this week?

“We’ll have to wait and see where he is,” said Eberflus when asked that question on Wednesday. “If he’s doing well, there’s potentially that, but again, it’s 21 days, so we’ll figure that out as we go. But we like where he is right now for sure.”