Chicago Bears Receivers Will Be Tested by Rookie's Injury & More NFC North News

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 07:   Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown against  Derek Cox #21 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during a game  at EverBank Field on October 7, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Two steps forward, one step back.

Reports around the league are that rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has a fractured hand and according to the Sun-Times' Sean Jensen, will miss four to six weeks.

The upside is, the Bears are on a bye week and the injury should not require surgery.

The downside is, Jeffery was rounding into the rare rookie receiver who was having an impact.

Losing Jeffery is tough—but all it really means is that Devin Hester, Earl Bennett and Kellen Davis will have to step it up.

I've been as hard on Hester as anyone, never having bought into the hype and pointing out that it's there every year and never pans out.

Over the last few games, I've seen something new from Hester, though. While his route-running isn't pristine, he has been doing a great job throwing off defenders with the odd double move or fake and getting behind them where his immense speed gets him separation.

This could be the start of a leap forward in development—even if it took an extraordinary amount of time to get here.

We know Bennett is a reliable, steady option and will put up some decent points. Davis has been playing better the last few weeks as well, and like Hester, could prove to be a vertical threat to replace Jeffery.

All three of them have the chance to have a big impact over the next few weeks and mitigate what could have been a very bad break for the Bears.

The team put a lot of effort into building depth at quarterback and running back. With this injury, they get to show that they had it at receiver already.

Now onto the rest of the news and notes from the NFC North.


Chicago Bears

Dan Pompei of the Tribune says Brandon Marshall was a big weapon against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The defense has a scoring mentality, according to Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times.

For those of you reading this prior to coffee, remember the Bears are on a bye week this week.


Detroit Lions

Justin Rogers has a piece over at that talks about the Lions' early woes and how a 'rival' general manager has labeled them overrated. Which is always brave, you know, when you're anonymous and trolling.

The Detroit Free Press' Rob Maaddi asks if the Lions will be able to take advantage of the Eagles' constant fumbles.

Bleacher Report's Chris Madden gives you the Lions' team awards for the early season.


Green Bay Packers's Jayme Joers asks what the team should do at running back with Benson's injury.

Over at Journal-Sentinel Tyler Dunne says Aaron Rodgers isn't playing up to his MVP status.

Chad Toporski of says it was a lot of little things that killed the Packers this past weekend.


Minnesota Vikings

Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN breaks down the tape on the game from Sunday.

Pioneer Press's Brian Murphy says Alan Williams' defense is what is behind this surprising start to the season.

Bleacher Report's Tim Arcand says it's time to start taking the Vikings seriously.

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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.