The Chicago Bears are preparing to play on a short week which makes injuries even more concerning for the team. The Bears were lacking several stars in Week 11 as both Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery sat out the game. Set to play the Green Bay Packers in Week 12 on Thanksgiving, the Bears need a healthy roster and instead they continue to lose players as Martellus Bennett is struggling with injuries.
According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com, Bennett is dealing with rib injuries heading into Week 12. The tight end suffered the injury in the loss to the Denver Broncos. He was able to play the entire game while recording just two catches for 26 yards. Head coach John Fox did not say what the status of Bennett was and whether or not he would be available for the game on Thursday, but it is not looking good considering the team plays on a short week.
There is also no update Jeffery who sat out Week 11 due to a groin issue. Jeffery has been on and off the field all season as he plays out the final year of his contract. This is certainly not what the Bears wanted from the player who was supposed to be their No.1 guy after trading away Brandon Marshall. Most assume the Bears will work to re-sign the receiver, but he could opt to head elsewhere. In the short-term, Chicago needs Jeffery on the field. With Eddie Royal also out, the team has been relying heavily on players like Marquess Wilson and Zach Miller. Jay Cutler can only do so much.
One good bit of new for the Bears is the potential return of Forte in Week 12. According to ESPN.com, Forte is on track to play against the Packers on Thanksgiving. The running back has missed the past three games with a knee injury. He has been participating in practice, but had yet to get cleared for contact. The big question for the Bears will be how they handle the rotation between Forte and Jeremy Langford who has been the team's best offensive player in the past three games. The rookie has been dominating on the field in Forte's absence. According to Fox, the more running backs, the better.
"In this league, it's about the more the merrier," Fox said, via ESPN.com. "You try to build competition within your own team. I think it makes everybody on your squad better. We'll welcome Matt back with open arms."
Can the Bears afford to take Langford off the field? Forte is certainly no slouch when it comes to production. Fox told the media he was not about to speculate what the rotation would look like for the team and he would simply cross that bridge when they approached it.