Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery had full participation today in practice and is set to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. First round pick Shea McClellin has been ruled out for the game as he deals with a concussion. Evan Rodriguez, who has been used mainly as an in-line blocker, will get some opportunities this game at the Tight End position.
This Chicago Bears team will be counting on these rookies to step up in the 2nd half of the season, as the team tries to finish strong heading into the post season.
McClellin seems to get better and better each week, but fans are waiting for him to take another big step as far as a pass rusher. McClellin has that raw speed and quickness off the edge to be a special pass rusher in this league, but just needs to take that next step in his development.
The Bears have plenty of pass rushers on the team in Julius Peppers, Henry Melton, and Corey Wootton, but it would be a great sign to see their first round draft pick have a better impact in that area.
With Kellen Davis being a complete disappointment this year, the door is wide open for Rodriguez to step into that receiver role from the TE position. At 6-2 239 pounds, Rodriguez is much quicker in-and-out of his breaks and has the best hands of all the TE’s on the roster.
The rookie they need a boost from the most is Jeffery, who before the injury was starting to gain the confidence of Jay Cutler. He was the guy that gave Cutler a legit secondary option that’s capable of giving the offense close to the same ability as Brandon Marshall. His presence also put the rest of the WR’s in their appropriate roles.
The Bears need big contributions from these three rookies if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.