Somehow, someway the Bears’ wide receiver group is in a worse position than it was coming into the season.
After three weeks, free-agent acquisition Byron Pringle is heading to injured reserve. He caught one pass for 11 yards in the 23-20 win over the Texans before exiting the game with a calf injury in the first half.
“Yeah, whenever you lose a starter or a player like that, that’s a good blocker and certainly stands for everything we believe in, that certainly hurts,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “And guys are gonna have to step into that role and share that role as well. So it always hurts when you lose a guy like that.”
Even though Pringle only has three catches for 33 yards on the season, Justin Fields still loses another target. One of the potential five active wide receivers who could step up is someone who hasn’t played a single snap in the regular season.
“Well, we’ve only got so many guys, right?,” Eberflus said. “We’ll probably have the same number of receivers up and hopefully Velus can be up for this game, we’ll see where that goes in terms of the injury that he’s had. Hopefully that can happen this week.”
It’s telling that Eberflus brought up Velus Jones Jr. on his own, which may be an indication that he could play on Sunday against the Giants as long as there aren’t any setbacks throughout the week.
Jones did appear on the injury report list as limited with the hamstring injury, but he is staying optimistic and said he “felt really good today.”
When asked what he could add to this Bears offense, Jones didn’t hesitate to highlights his strengths.
“I mean if you know me, like you have seen my film, you know speed obviously, explosiveness, yards after catch guy,” Jones said. “I can add a lot, especially in the return game.”
And if he gets an opportunity on a jet sweep like Equanimeous St. Brown did against the Texans, Jones confidently said how that play would end.
The Bears could use some more “house calls” or just any production in the passing game. Bears receivers have caught 11 total passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns this season. Only four teams in the NFL don’t have a single receiver who has more than 11 receptions through three games: the Ravens, Titans, Panthers and Bears.
With how ineffective the receivers have been in the passing game so far, the Bears could clearly use any and all the help they could get. And maybe Jones can provide that help this week.
“My heart, my head, my soul in it, but you know if my hammy is not in it, that’s any issue,” Jones said. “So every week I’m looking forward to getting on the field and like I said we are just going to stack every day, each day at a time.”