Where in the world are the Chicago Bears wide receivers? The team is currently missing their top four wide receivers while at least one of them is out for the season and the other three remain a mystery in terms of their return. After saying goodbye to Brandon Marshall in the offseason, the Bears drafted Kevin White who is now out after shin surgery. Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson and Eddie Royal are missing practice for issues which could mean Chicago must take advantage of free agents hitting the market.
The Bears must make a roster addition. They have no other choice with their top four players out. In order for Jay Cutler to be successful he needs a lot of offensive weapons and while Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett are good, they are not enough. Talent must be running down the sidelines and right now the Bears' offense is in flux.
While Wilson and Royal appear to only hve minor ailments, the biggest question mark the calf injury to Jeffery. While it was originally deemed as minor, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports that no one is giving a definite timetable for the return of the wide receiver. Jeffery is expected to be the No.1 threat for Cutler moving forward and head coach John Fox would only say that he is injury and day-to-day in terms of his status. So where does that leave Chicago?
"As I've mentioned a lot of times, I'd prefer they're out here," Fox said, via the Tribune. "But until they're cleared medically, I don't have them. So again, I can't predict what's going to happen going forward other than day to day. So we'll assess it and the plan is hopefully we get everybody ready for Green Bay. ... It's not like he's sitting there eating bonbons. So he's conditioning."
In the short-term the Bears could take advantage of players released on the free agent market. The first round of roster cuts have taken place and few solid names remain available. Denarius Moore, Kenbrell Thompkins and Jarrett Boykin are officially up for grabs. Ryan Broyles was released, but it is unclear if he is healthy. The Chicago Sun Times entertained the idea of Wes Welker, but reported that the Bears were not likely to sign him despite his skillset.
With injuries running wild in the receiving group, it is hard to find much optimism in the Bears' offense. Adding a free agent would be a low-risk, high-reward situation for Chicago entering the 2015 season and give them a healthy weapon to work with.