The last thing the Chicago Bears need is issues at the wide receiver position. However, the preseason has not been kind to the franchise as a majority of their starting rotation is sitting out with injuries. As quarterback Jay Cutler enters a critical year for his future with the franchise, he might be working with backups during Week 1 as Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal are doubtful in the game.
The Bears got a welcomed sight when Royal along with Marquess Wilson appeared at practice on Monday. Both receivers had been out with injuries that caused them to miss a portion of the preseason. Their returns are good news for Cutler, but they still are not a lock to see much playing time against the Green Bay Packers. According to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, both Royal and Wilson have a lot of work to put in this week in order to play.
While Royal and Wilson are back, Jeffery remains a mystery. The wide receiver has been out since Aug. 11 with a calf injury and no one is certain when he will return. Jeffery is expected to be the leading receiver for the Bears following the trade of Brandon Marshall, but the injury has hurt the effort.
"It is a healing process," Fox said, via WBBM-AM 780. "Everybody is different. People handle pain differently. People heal faster than others. But we've got a shot with all of them [to play], and that's biggest thing that I look at. We have all the way to Sunday at noon, I think."
Fantasy owners beware, things are not looking good for Jeffery. If the leading receiver is out, fans would be wise to go back to Royal who impressed with Cutler before suffering the hip injury. The free agent signee has been quick to learn the offense and will be heavily favored for the quarterback along with Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte who remain the other two leads of the offense. While Royal is not a lock to return for Sunday, he is confident he sees playing time.
"It's just something that I started feeling. We talked to the trainers and coaches about it. They decided to sit me down for a little bit and now we're right where we are. I'm excited about today. It was a good start. I'm excited about Sunday and hopefully being out there," Royal said, via the Chicago Sun Times.
The Bears offense offers little optimism if any of the three receivers is out. Losing Jeffery for any game is a big hit on the team's momentum and the chances he appears against the Packers is slim. If the Bears get desperate, they have Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks sitting on the free agent market for help.