An offense coming off a sputtering effort in the previous two games has help coming soon.
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Titans in Tennessee but the rookie playmaker could be available for the Nov. 11 home game with the Texans or the Nov. 19 game against the 49ers in San Francisco. Jeffery should return from the broken right hand that has sidelined him since the Oct. 7 victory at Jacksonville in two weeks, according to one source.
Jeffery, who was injured against the Jaguars on a 10-yard touchdown reception, left the Soldier Field locker room Sunday after the 23-22 win victory the Panthers with a hard plastic brace on his healing hand. The Bears’ off week also gave him time to recover so he could miss only three games before returning to action.
“I wouldn’t even try to guess when he’s coming back,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said Monday. “I just know he’s making progress and we’re hopeful.”
The best news is Smith indicated Jeffery has remained in shape so that shouldn’t be a significant hurdle for him to get back on the playing field. He probably will need a week of practice before returning to action.
“I just know what he’s doing,” Smith said. “First off you have to stay in the game mentally, and he’s doing that in meetings and even watching the game on the sidelines. (An injured player) can watch the game from a different perspective to help (his) game. Also, he’s staying in shape, keeping conditioning up.
“He’s doing all the things you can do if you’re injured, and to be a good pro for years to come. You’re going to have an injury, you’re going to have to deal with it, so you’re going to have to learn this routine, which he’s doing. No complaints about him at all. Can’t wait to get him back out there.”
Earl Bennett missed two games with a broken hand after he tried to play through his injury earlier in the season. Bennett has six receptions in the last two games but is used more in the slot while Jeffery was on the outside where he had been splitting time there with Devin Hester.
Jeffery is third on the team with 14 receptions and second with 184 receiving yards, and he has scored two touchdowns. He provides quarterback Jay Cutler with another big target opposite Brandon Marshall in the red zone where the offense has had struggles, ranking 22nd. Getting Jeffery back in the mix when the schedule presents teams with strong records should be a boost.
•The Bears signed wide receiver Raymond Radway to the practice squad and he took the place of wide receiver Joe Anderson, who was released. The 6-foot-3, 204-pound Radway was an undrafted free agent from Abilene Christian last season and had multiple stints with the Cowboys.