Overlooked in some of the Bears’ struggles through a 3-1 preseason has been the absence of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for all of the four games because of a calf injury. Added to that was the loss of nose tackle Eddie Goldman at the outset of the Cincinnati Bengals game with a concussion.
The offense got a boost on Wednesday when Jeffery returned to practice, albeit on a limited basis. The mysterious injury occurred in practice Aug. 12, not even a full-speed practice prior to the preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins.
[MORE BEARS: Examining Packers heading into Week 1]
“I didn’t expect it to linger this long,” Jeffery said, laughing. “But it happens. It’s something that you’ve got to deal with and just move on and just keep getting better each and every day. I feel comfortable if I’m out there on Sunday or the next game or the next game after that. I feel pretty comfortable. I’m just taking it one day at a time and listening to what the trainers and coaches say.”
Jeffery is entering a contract year and strongly denied a report that his contract status was affecting his speed getting back into the lineup.
“My contract situation has nothing to do with it,” Jeffery stated. “It’ll take care of itself. I wasn’t at practice because I’ve been injured. If you’ve ever had a calf injury, any of you guys, you would know.”
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
Meanwhile, the defense, which already will be without starting defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff for three games due to a suspension, got its lift with the return of Goldman to full practice.
“Even though I missed practice [all last week] I still took mental reps and then I was still working out at the same time, just getting in my playbook,” Goldman said. “So as far as practice, I missed one or two practices but mentally I was still there.”