To no one’s surprise, quarterback Jay Cutler was ruled out of Sunday’s game with the Seattle Seahawks and, unfortunately for backup Jimmy Clausen, so is wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, as both players are dealing with hamstring injuries.
Jeffery had missed the Arizona Cardinals game, taking the Bears’ receiving-yardage leader for the past two seasons out after already missing 2015 first-round pick and wide receiver Kevin White.
“I think [Jeffery] affects everybody,” said offensive offensive coordinator Adam Gase. “I mean, he’s a difference maker. He’s a big guy. You have to make sure you know where he’s at. Now we need some guys to step up so we can spread it out. When they take certain players away other guys step up.”
Adding to the problems facing the Bears and Clausen is concern with Eddie Royal after the wide receiver was limited in practice again on Friday with back issues, going on the injury report officially as questionable. Royal led the Bears with seven catches against the Cardinals, although for only 41 total yards.
Jeffery’s overall situation is vexing for the Bears, and for the receiver, who is in a contract year but missed all of preseason with a calf injury, caught five passes in the loss to Green Bay and then went back on the shelf.
“Anytime a player gets hurt, there’s an element of frustration, a little discouragement,” said head coach John Fox. “But that’s part of this game. You’re going to get knocked down. What do you do? You get back up and bounce back. I don’t expect anything different from him.”
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The injuries were not limited to only the offense for the 0-2 Bears as they try to recover from a 25-point home loss. The defensive line was without end/tackle Ego Ferguson vs. Arizona and he was limited again in practice with an ongoing knee injury. Rush linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee) practiced on a limited basis on Friday.
Cornerback Tracy Porter, also trying to come back from a hamstring strain, was limited and listed as questionable after being inactive for the first two games.