Chicago Bears: Is Alshon Jeffery Sitting Out over Contract?


Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Alshon Jeffery has been little more than a rumor around the Chicago Bears for nearly a month now, making only a couple of appearances at practices and on the sidelines since he hurt his calf around August 12th.  He’s been “day-to-day” ever since, with John Fox’s cloak and dagger approach to injury updates fueling speculation about the severity of the injury.  After Kevin White started the preseason on the PUP list with what Fox termed “shin splints” and ended up requiring surgery, it’s fair to question the new regime’s honesty.

As the Bears prepare for their Week 1 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Alshon Jeffery’s status for the opener is still unclear.  Now, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole adds a new wrinkle to Jeffery’s availability for Sunday:

I can understand Jeffery’s concerns while in a contract year, but this smells fishy to me.  I didn’t know that Jeffery could “lean” against playing.  Either he’s healthy or he’s not.  If he’s cleared medically, does he have the ability to sit himself out?  Have Marc Trestman and Phil Emery taken over Halas Hall?

Next: What's the Market for Alshon Jeffery Contract Extension?

Jeffery is playing the last year of his rookie deal, so clearly he’s due for a hefty raise, but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before GM Ryan Pace works out a new deal for Jeffery.  The biggest question is whether Jeffery can be a legit, #1 wide receiver.  There are no denying his numbers the last few seasons, but he’s played his entire career playing Robin to Brandon Marshall‘s Batman.  Is Jeffery worth the “full boat” contract?  This season will define that.  Playing at less than 100% could hurt his production and could give Pace and the Bears some leverage, but missing games would seem to hurt just as much.

Will Jeffery suit up on Sunday?  If he doesn’t do you think it’s for any reason besides his actual health?