Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was taken with the No. 45 overall pick in last April's NFL draft. Once considered a first-round talent, the bust label has gone from his draft stock, slipping to his inability to stay on the field.
Chicago couldn't get by in the passing game with just Marshall, so they took to the draft and seemingly found a diamond in the rough in Jeffery. If the rookie ever lives up to the potential that he showed at South Carolina, the Bears might have one of the best 1-2 tandems at the position in the entire league.
Is Jeffery the complement that Cutler and Marshall need in the Bears' passing attack?
However, Jeffery left Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers with a knee injury. This, after missing the previous five games upon breaking his hand during Week 5's 41-3 blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
When healthy, Jeffery has done a decent job for a rookie, catching 16 balls for 199 yards and two scores.
One of the most important things a first-year player in this league can do, however, is to absorb everything that goes on around him on the field. When that player isn't able to stay on the field, success can become a very slow process.
The learning curve for young wide receivers is already steep, so having Marshall to mimic would work well for Jeffery. But if he can't stay away from the trainer's table, he may never get that chance.