Simply put, losing rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is a considerable loss for the Bears
Jeffery was having the best season among rookie wide receivers in the NFC. His 184 receiving yards lead all first-year receivers in the conference and his two touchdowns have provided balance for the Bears.
The Sun-Times reported Monday that Jeffery will be out four to six weeks with a fracture in his right hand suffered in the Bears' 41-3 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But surgery won't be required. Jeffery had a 10-yard touchdown catch to open the fourth quarter, but it was his last play of the game.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright is the only rookie having a better season than Jeffery with 27 catches, 214 yards and two touchdowns.
"It's tough," coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday after practice at Halas Hall. "But you know, we know we're going to get him back. Injuries are part of it. He'll be back before long."
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice said he hopes the imminent return of wide receiver Earl Bennett from a left-hand injury will make up for the loss of Jeffery.
"I don't know how long he's out but it's tough," Tice said. "In this NFL you well know we have injuries, and this is one that's too bad because he was starting to come on. [There's] a great rapport between he and Jay, but now hopefully we can get Earl back and just keep going."
Smith said Jeffery, a second-round pick out of South Carolina, injured his hand on a "typical play"
"Without going into detail, one of those plays and again ... minor injury that's going to take a few ... I'm not going to go into how long," Smith said. "But he'll be back out there before we know it. Nothing major."
Smith also wouldn't confirm that Jeffery broke his hand when asked.
"I did not say that," he said. "I said he's out for a short period of time. And we can't wait to get him out there. Since we don't have an injury list, I'm not going to talk about Alshon Jeffery much."