Bears Rookie WR Alshon Jeffery Looking Like a Bust with Chronic Injury Problems

Jeremy SickelContributor IIINovember 20, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears can't come up with the catch on the sidelines guarded by Tarell Brown #25 of the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at Candlestick Park on November 19, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 32-7.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was taken with the No. 45 overall pick in last April's NFL draft. Once considered a first-round talent, the bust label has gone from his draft stock, slipping to his inability to stay on the field.

The Bears needed to add viable targets for Jay Cutler, so they traded for Miami Dolphins wideout Brandon Marshall to reunite with the quarterback—the two played together in Denver.

Chicago couldn't get by in the passing game with just Marshall, so they took to the draft and seemingly found a diamond in the rough in Jeffery. If the rookie ever lives up to the potential that he showed at South Carolina, the Bears might have one of the best 1-2 tandems at the position in the entire league.

However, Jeffery left Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers with a knee injury. This, after missing the previous five games upon breaking his hand during Week 5's 41-3 blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

When healthy, Jeffery has done a decent job for a rookie, catching 16 balls for 199 yards and two scores.

One of the most important things a first-year player in this league can do, however, is to absorb everything that goes on around him on the field. When that player isn't able to stay on the field, success can become a very slow process.

The learning curve for young wide receivers is already steep, so having Marshall to mimic would work well for Jeffery. But if he can't stay away from the trainer's table, he may never get that chance.


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