Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Is wide receiver Alshon Jeffery going to play Sunday against the Lions?
That's clearly the most popular question of the week judging by the number of emails I've received. All I can tell you is that Alshon Jeffery practiced with limitations Wednesday and Thursday and the Bears are hopeful that he will be able to play Sunday against the Lions. Then again, he practiced with limitations last Wednesday and Thursday before sitting out practice last Friday and Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. So we'll have to wait and see. I've heard some people speculate that the Bears will hold him out of Sunday's game because they have a bye the following weekend. But coach John Fox said Wednesday that the bye has nothing to do with whether Jeffery plays in Detroit. If he's healthy enough to be on the field, he'll be out there.
Assuming that linebacker Shea McClellin is unable to play in Detroit, who will take his place?
Based on what defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said during his weekly news conference, it appears that inside linebacker Christian Jones will relay signals to the defense as he did after Shea McClellin exited last Sunday's game in Kansas City with a knee injury. In terms of who will replace McClellin in the starting lineup, Fangio said "right now we're sifting through that." It could be LaRoy Reynolds (who replaced McClellin against the Chiefs), Jonathan Anderson, Jim Timu or Lamin Barrow—or perhaps a combination of the aforementioned players. Said Fangio: "We'll figure it out throughout the week. Maybe it'll be one guy or maybe it'll be a group effort."
I was at Sunday's game in Kansas City and couldn't help notice that Kyle Fuller was fielding punts in the pregame warmup along with Mark Mariani. Is Fuller a legitimate punt return option at this point, or only an emergency plan if Mariani were to get hurt?
We'll never know, but I assume that Kyle Fuller probably would have only returned punts against the Chiefs if Marc Mariani had been injured during the game. Eddie Royal is listed as the No. 2 punt returner on the depth chart, but he was inactive in Kansas City due to an ankle injury.