Bears coach Lovie Smith had some good news to share Friday about rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery, who is still recovering from a fractured right hand.
Although he was limited, Jeffery was able to participate in some drills in practice on Friday. He's doubtful for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans, but it's still encouraging to see after he's been held out of practice for weeks.
"We're excited about the progress he's made, [but] he's doubtful," Smith said after practice Friday. "I can't really say much more than that. But we put him as doubtful instead of out [on the injury report]."
Jeffery, who declined to speak to the media after practice on Friday, fractured his right hand against the Jacksonville Jaguars over a month ago. Surgery, though, wasn't needed. The Sun-Times reported he would be out four to six weeks.
Jeffery was having a solid rookie campaign with 14 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns in five games. He was a solid No. 2 option for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler behind Brandon Marshall.
Cutler has thrown to Marshall a lot more as other receivers have failed to really fill the void left by Jeffery. It's very possible that he'll be ready for the Bears' "Monday Night Football" matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
"We're encouraged by Alshon," Smith said. "He was able to do a little bit today, so we'll see."
Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina is doubtful with a calf injury, while defensive end Israel Idonije (ankle) and defensive tackle Henry Melton (back) are listed as probable.