Bears rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery will not require surgery to repair a fracture in his right hand but is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks, according to a league source.
Jeffery scored a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter to give the Bears a 20-3 lead. But it's unclear if he suffered the injury during that play. After he left the field, though, it was announced that he would not return with a hand injury.
Dr. Steve Shin, a hand and wrist specialist at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, didn't have any issues with the timetable, although he doesn't know the exact nature of the injury.
"Four to six weeks is a very reasonable period of time," Dr. Shin said. "I don't know where the fracture is and what bone is affected. But if it doesn't need surgery, it's probably a non-displaced, stable fracture that can be treated."
A second-round pick out of South Carolina, Jeffery has emerged as a key part of the Bears offense. He has 14 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
Jeffery underwent an x-ray today and a cast was placed on his right hand.
Given the timetable, the Bears will have to consider whether to place him on the injured reserve, thus ending his season. But given his importance and the fact that he can stay in shape by running, they may try to let him heal and return late in the season.
The Bears have been without key veteran Earl Bennett the last two games due to injury. But Bears coach Lovie Smith said Bennett should be ready to go coming out of the bye.
One free-agent receiver who makes sense is Rashied Davis. But the Bears released him with an injury settlement. And, per league rules, the Bears couldn't re-sign him until Week 8. Last week, he worked out for the New Orleans Saints.