Bears, Alshon Jeffery feeling ripple effects of the receiver's 4-game PED suspension

Bears, Alshon Jeffery feeling ripple effects of the receiver's 4-game PED suspension

A bit of surprise was registered before this season when player voting for 2016 co-captains resulted in wide receiver Alshon Jeffery being chosen, along with quarterback Jay Cutler, as a co-captain of the offense.

A considerably bigger surprise came Monday when the league announced that the designated team leader was suspended without pay for the team’s next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. Jeffery’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Bears’ active roster on Monday, Dec. 12 following the team’s Dec. 11 game against the Detroit Lions.

"Obviously we're very disappointed,” said coach John Fox. “I think he's fairly embarrassed about it but we'll support him and welcome him when he gets back after serving his suspension.”

With this latest travail in a season full of them, Fox might be excused for wondering if someone somewhere is sticking pins in a Fox doll. But...

“I look at it like a lot of the things we've been through already,” he said. “We're going to have to have somebody step up and that's the way we'll treat it. Nobody comes and rescues you as I've mentioned before. So everybody else is going to have to play that much better.”

The Jeffery blow sends ripples in many directions, including toward the team, the player and possibly into some quarters of the NFL.

The Bears balked last offseason at meeting Jeffery’s demands for a multi-year contract last offseason, instead opting for the franchise tag and its guaranteed one-year pay of $14.9 million. The suspension will cost Jeffery approximately $3.43 million of that this season.

How much it costs Jeffery in negotiations next offseason, whether with the Bears or with other teams, remains to play out.

[RELATED: NFL announces Alshon Jeffery suspended for four games]

Jeffery was to be the team’s “face” in promotions beginning this week for Pro Bowl voting. He was second to tight end Zach Miller (44) with 40 receptions this year and had been having what for him was a season a bit off the standard set in 2013-14 with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with 89 and 85 catches in those years. Jeffery missed seven games last year but still caught 54 passes, four for touchdowns.

Oft-injured Marquess Wilson recently began practicing after suffering an offseason fractured foot, and would be eligible to return.

“If there's a silver lining it's that Marquess is going to be eligible to come up here shortly,” Fox said, “and now we have a roster spot.”

The Bears received word of the Jeffery suspension Monday morning and word filtered out quickly.

“We weren’t even in a team setting,” Fox said. “We were in offense and defense [meetings] kind of because of the nature of our schedule. They’d already broken down to watch the tape and it was pretty much communicated.

“I think these guys have done pretty good about handling things, whether it’s been injury or now a suspension. At the end of the day we’re without somebody for a term of time and I think they understand what’s at stake.”

Saints DE Cam Jordan really wants to hit Chase Daniel, but swears it's out of love

Saints DE Cam Jordan really wants to hit Chase Daniel, but swears it's out of love

All signs this week have pointed to Mitch Trubisky returning for the Bears’ Week 7 matchup against New Orleans, which should be exciting news for Chicago fans (right?).

Cam Jordan and the Saints defense, for their part, won’t be happy to see Mitch under center, but maaaaybe not for the reason you’d think. In an appearance on NFL Total Access this afternoon, Jordan was asked by Lindsay Rhodes what the difference between facing Trubisky and backup QB Chase Daniel is for New Orleans, and he laid out a pretty compelling case for preferring Daniel:


“I’ve been meaning to hit Chase ever since I got to the league,” Jordan said. “I’ve already hit Mitch.”

Jordan was quick to clarify that he “love[s] Chase” from his days sharing a locker room with him in New Orleans early in each of their careers. Daniel backed up Drew Brees from 2010-2012, overlapping with Jordan’s rookie and sophomore seasons (2011-2012). 

“He brought so much juice to our locker room when he was here,” Jordan continued. “I can’t wait for a chance to hit him. That’s how I show love to my friends.”

Daniel took the rib in stride, tweeting out a light-hearted response to the clip of Jordan a few hours later:

Jordan responded to that by saying he has "nothing but admiration" for Daniel and implored him to be the Brett Favre to his Michael Strahan. (Favre, you'll remember, famously crumpled in a heap at the feet of Strahan in Week 17 of the 2001 season, with Strahan needing only one sack to break the single-season record. That record of 22.5 sacks still stands to this day.) Chicago fans would certainly sign on for Daniel granting Jordan's wish, in the event of a blowout Bears victory.  

Whether it’s Trubisky or Daniel leading the Bears’ huddles on Sunday, though, the Saints defense will prove a formidable matchup, and Jordan is a big reason why. The four-time Pro Bowler has already racked up five sacks (tied for eighth in the NFL) and nine quarterback hits six games into the season.

Optimistically, the hope is Jordan never gets the chance to set his sights on any Bears quarterback this Sunday. Unrealistic? Definitely. But one can dream.

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Alvin Kamara officially out for Week 7 game at Bears


Alvin Kamara officially out for Week 7 game at Bears

The Bears are getting good news on their injury report, but the Saints definitely are not.

While it sounds like Mitchell Trubisky will return for the Bears, the Saints will be missing both of their backfield starters for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.

Quarterback Drew Brees was already known to miss the game, but now running back Alvin Kamara is officially listed as out with an ankle injury. Kamara had 11 carries for 31 yards and seven receptions for 35 yards in last week’s 13-6 win at Jacksonville, but won’t take on the Bears.

The 24-year-old has 373 rushing yards and 276 receiving yards this season.

Latavius Murray is expected to fill in for Kamara as the starter. Murray has the same 4.3 yards per carry average as Kamara so far this season.

Brees has been out since injuring his thumb in a Week 2 loss at the Rams. Teddy Bridgewater has gone 4-0 as the starting quarterback, but won’t have the threat of Kamara behind him on Sunday.

On top of that, starting tight end Jared Cook is also out with an ankle injury. Cook has 15 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns this season.

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