Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery did not participate in Monday’s practice at Halas Hall, still hindered by the calf strain he suffered during a practice on Aug. 12. Marquess Wilson was also a spectator Monday, sidelined himself after suffering a hamstring injury during Saturday night’s 23-11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
That left the first-unit offense significantly short-handed once again as the Bears dived into preparation for their third game of the preseason. It’s too early to say yet whether either Jeffery or Wilson will return to practice this week or play in Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jeffery, coach John Fox asserted, is still “day to day” with his injury. And the Bears will certainly focus more on assuring their top receiver’s ability for the season opener than pushing him back into action for exhibition action this week.
“When they clear him medically and we feel like it’s the smartest thing to do, he’ll be out there,” Fox said. “So I won’t be able to tell you (where he is) until we get closer to game day. … We’d prefer him out there and he’s doing everything he can to get out there. But it’s nobody’s fault. It’s not his fault. It’s not our fault. It’s part of football.”
During team drills at the end of Monday’s practice, the three receivers working with quarterback Jay Cutler and the starting offense were Eddie Royal, Josh Bellamy and Rashad Lawrence. That’s not exactly the murderer’s row of big-play targets that Cutler and offensive coordinator Adam Gase envisioned. But the Bears will push forward, hoping Jeffery and Wilson get well soon, the story said.