Bears stars Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson miss another practice

Bears stars Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson miss another practice

Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury. | Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears’ best player on offense — and their best on defense — remained sidelined for Thursday’s practice.

The Bears’ best player on offense — and their best on defense — remained sidelined for Thursday’s practice.

Outside linebacker Khalil Mack did not practice for the second-straight day with an ankle injury, while receiver Allen Robinson has stayed in concussion protocol.

Center Cody Whitehair (calf) and returner Cordarrelle Patterson (quad) sat out, too.

Bears coach Matt Nagy refused to provide clarity about the injuries, which were suffered Monday night. But if any of the above — much less all — are forced to miss the Saints game on Sunday, the Bears will be tested, from a health perspective, in a way they haven’t been all season.

If Whitehair can’t go, the Bears will turn to Notre Dame alum Sam Mustipher, who’s played 26 career snaps — all Monday in relief.

“Everybody focuses on the quarterback, but, man, the center does so much communication,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said Thursday. “And it’s even early mornings, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday mornings sitting with the quarterbacks in meetings, just them, just the quarterbacks and centers. Previewing the video, going over all the blitz looks before we meet as a whole group to do the blitzes — because it’s really the quarterback and the center. It’s setting the blocking schemes and the run game.

“There’s so much that Cody does. It is a change when you change the person.”

Mack appeared to hurt his left ankle trying to make a tackle in the third quarter Monday night against the Rams. Last week, he sat out a practice because of a sore back. After not being limited in practice through his first two years with the team, the Bears began the season monitoring his mid-week workload because of a knee injury.

Robinson was hit in the fourth quarter Sunday night and removed from the game by officials.

Safeties Eddie Jackson (knee) and Sherrick McManis (hamstring) were limited, while tight end Cole Kmet (back) was back to full participation.

Thomas back

Michael Thomas, the NFL’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year, returned to practice for the Saints on Thursday and could play Sunday for the first time since Week 1.

Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1 and a hamstring injury during practice two weeks ago. In between, he was disciplined for a practice altercation.

Thomas and fellow receiver Marquez Callaway, who has an ankle injury, were both limited. Guard Nick Easton sat out with a concussion, whole tackle Terron Armstead was limited.

Thomas caught 149 passes last year, the most in NFL history, for 1,725 yards.

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