The painful injury saga that is Alshon Jeffery’s 2015 got no better again on Friday as the wide receiver and linchpin of the current Bears receiver group sat out practice and now is expected to miss his fourth straight game.
Adding to the Bears’ offensive concerns was fellow wideout Eddie Royal also sidelined for practice with an ankle injury. Royal, signed to be a No. 3 receiver behind Jeffery and rookie Kevin White, has been pressed into starting all four games to this point.
The offseason has been a source of continuous frustration for the offense, beginning with rookie White’s stress fracture in June, continuing with Jeffery missing all preseason games with a calf injury, then regular season time with a hamstring, and Royal, taking a hammering with his playing time increased to fill the vacuum.
[MORE: John Fox has history against Andy Reid's West Coast offense]
All of which has left offensive coordinator Adam Gase with only being able to imagine what his offense could have been.
“As soon as [Jeffery] is ready to go, it'll be interesting to see kind of how we evolve and adapt and try and use him to his strengths,” Gase said, “and get him rolling as soon as they tell us that he's ready to go.”
Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.
According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.
The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.
For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.
Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.
The four-episode series will air on ChicagoBears.com at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night.
Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.
For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.