Alshon Jeffery: Bears' Offense Will Feel Loss of Rookie WR If He Misses Time

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 8, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 07:   Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 7, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

There weren't many dim spots in the Chicago Bears' 41-3 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Bears fans should have their fingers crossed about Alshon Jeffery's hand injury.

In the fourth quarter, the rookie caught a touchdown pass from Jay Cutler, and he immediately started favoring his right hand. He left the field to seek attention from the medical staff. He did return to the field, but his right hand was heavily bandaged.

Chicago Tribune Bears beat reporter, Brad Biggs tweeted this:

#Bears WR Alshon Jeffery out for remainder of game with hand injury

— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) October 7, 2012

The Bears are fortunate to have their bye week in Week 6. The extra time will give Jeffery room to recover. The Bears can only hope the injury isn't serious enough to force him to miss any games.

The offense would feel the absence of the rookie WR. Jeffery has proven to be a solid secondary option to Brandon Marshall. The touchdown pass he caught Sunday was his second of the season.

More than the touchdown passes he's caught, the biggest addition Jeffery brings is as a threat in the red zone. With Marshall and Jeffery the Bears have two big receivers that can take advantage of smaller defensive backs inside to 20-yard line.

Taking that away doesn't handicap the offense completely, but it is certainly a blow. The Bears are already without Earl Bennett, per Chicago Tribune, so the receiving corps could be especially thin without Jeffery. 

Jay Cutler is already locking onto Marshall too often. On Sunday, the Bears' star had 12 receptions, but he was targeted 17 times. No other receiver had more than four. If Jeffery isn't an option, that dynamic could become even more obvious. Teams will commit to take Marshall away, and someone else will have to step up.

Whether there is a player on the roster capable of doing that remains to be seen. The Bears will be hoping things won't come to that.


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