Jonathan Wilhite out vs. Bears

Updated: December 11, 2010, 8:46 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

CHICAGO -- The New England Patriots have downgraded cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (hip) and defensive linemen Mike Wright (neck/concussion) and Myron Pryor (back) to out for Sunday's game against the Bears.

The moves were expected as all three players have yet to fully return to practice.

This will mark the fourth straight game that Wilhite, whose primary role comes in the slot and on special teams, will miss. Second-year player Darius Butler was the slot corner last week.

Wright leads the Patriots with 5.5 sacks, even though he's missed the last two games -- wins over the Detroit Lions and New York Jets. He has been a spot starter, with his biggest value coming as an interior sub rusher.

Pryor is another interior sub rusher, and this will mark the fifth straight game he's missed.

The Patriots have been rotating personnel in those roles, with Vince Wilfork playing more on third down.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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