Injury Updates: Whitehair, Barnes, Molden, Poyer, Cushenberry

The Bears designated starting left guard Cody Whitehair for return from injured reserve today, opening the 21-day practice window for him to be activated. Whitehair has been on IR since suffering a knee injury in a Week 4 loss to the Giants.

Getting Whitehair back in the lineup should be really beneficial for the Bears and developing quarterback Justin Fields. Whitehair has been a full-time starter on the Bears’ offensive line since he was drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft. The former Pro Bowler brings back a key veteran presence in Chicago and could help them push to get back in the race for the NFC North.

Once they feel he’s ready, Whitehair should replace Michael Schofield at left guard. If the Bears don’t feel they can activate him within the 21-day practice window, Whitehair will return to IR for the rest of the season.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL:

  • The Packers have designated linebacker Krys Barnes for return from IR, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Barnes suffered an ankle injury in the team’s season opener this year and has been on IR ever since. The third-year linebacker out of UCLA had started 23 games through the first two years of his NFL career but was expected to compete with first-round rookie Quay Walker for starting time this season. Bringing Barnes back should help add some quality depth to the Packers’ linebacking corps.
  • The Titans have designated cornerback Elijah Molden for return from IR, according to Titans senior writer Jim Wyatt. Molden had been missing several practices in the preseason due to a groin injury and was placed on IR just before the start of the regular season. Molden had made a significant impact as a rookie last year, starting seven games and showing up all over the defense. Aside from finishing fifth on the team for tackles with 60, Molden had an interception returned for a touchdown, four passes defensed, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 3.0 tackles for loss, and six quarterback pressures. The Titans have gotten a pleasant surprise from a talented, young group of corners so far this season. Molden will add depth behind third-year starter Kristian Fulton, rookie starter Roger McCreary, rookie Tre Avery, second-year corner Caleb Farley, and the lone veteran, Terrance Mitchell.
  • Bills safety Jordan Poyer, who has already missed two games so far this year, didn’t participate in practice today as he deals with an elbow injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The veteran “is considered week-to-week” and could miss some more time. Buffalo already has Damar Hamlin filling in for Micah Hyde, who remains on IR. Special teams ace Jaquan Johnson will fill in for any time Poyer has to miss. He has three such starts over the past two seasons.
  • Broncos third-year starting center Lloyd Cushenberry left last week’s London win over the Jaguars late in the first half with a groin strain. The injury appears to be of some concern as he is expected to “miss some time,” according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. Veteran Graham Glasgow subbed in for Cushenberry last week in London and is expected to start until he can return. Glasgow has plenty of experience as this is his first year in a backup capacity after six years of starting for the Lions and Broncos before.
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