Top Three Bears' Receivers Could Be Back For Season Opener

Top Three Bears' Receivers Could Be Back For Season Opener
The Bears are getting ready for their Week One matchup with the Green Bay Packers. All three Bears' wide receivers pictured could be back in time for Sunday's game. (From left to right: Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, Marquess Wilson.)

The Bears may be receiving some good news right before they square off against division rival Green Bay in the season opener Sunday.

The team’s top three wide receivers: Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson all appear to be on track to play against the Packers.

Jeffery didn’t participate in the portion of practice open to the media on Monday, but on Tuesday NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Jeffery is “progressing well” in his recovery from his calf injury and the hope is that the No. 1 wide receiver will be ready to play in Week 1. Jeffery missed the entire preseason and hasn’t practiced since Aug. 11.

As for Royal (hip) and Wilson (hamstring), the two took part in positional drills during Monday’s practice. The two speedy pass catchers missed the final two games of the preseason and have been trying to get back to full health since.

Royal called Monday’s practice a good start and told the Tribune’s Rich Campbell that he is “excited about Sunday and hopefully being out there.” It marked the first time in 14 days that Royal was able to practice.

Wilson had been out since Aug. 22 after suffering a right hamstring injury in the second preseason matchup against Indianapolis. He said the practice “just a work in progress.”

John Fox and the Bears are trying to be as quiet as possible about their latest injuries. They want to be able to create some kind of mystery for their despised opponent Green Bay in Week 1.

The Bears will have to release an official injury report on Wednesday, so that should clear some things up.

For now, the trio of Josh Bellamy, Marc Mariani and Cameron Meredith will prepare for playing time on offense. The three receivers have five career receptions between them.

Kyle Long staying at guard?

The Bears released their first regular season depth chart on Tuesday and third-year offensive lineman Kyle Long was still listed at his natural right guard position while Charles Leno was penciled in at right tackle.

Following Jordan Mills’ release on Sunday and the claiming of guard/tackle Patrick Omameh the expectation was that Long would slide over to right tackle and either Omameh or veteran Vladimir Ducasse would be the right guard.

Don’t be shocked to see Long switch over to right tackle spot in the next practice in anticipation for the season opener. The Bears would be better off with him there.

Also, another thing to point out about the Bears’ offensive line is that left tackle Jermon Bushrod (back) sat out Monday’s practice session. That move is precautionary as Bushrod battles lingering back issues.

Other depth chart notes

At cornerback, Kyle Fuller and Alan Ball are the starters while Tracy Porter and Terrance Mitchell are listed as their direct backups. Sherrick McManis and rookie Bryce Callahan are listed behind them.

Despite being marked down as the fifth corner, McManis is expected to be the nickelback. He should be in that role during Sunday’s game.

Also, Jared Allen is the starting outside linebacker opposite off-season acquisition Pernell McPhee. Lamarr Houston and Sam Acho are the direct backups with Willie Young listed as the fifth and final outside backer.

Don’t be surprised to see all five players on the field this season with Acho likely getting more snaps than expected at outside linebacker with Allen, Houston and Young moving along the line in nickel situations. Acho is iffy for Sunday’s matchup after sitting out Monday’s practice session with a continued illness.

Team captains

After having rotating captains last season under head coach Marc Trestman, the Bears announced Tuesday that they will be going with permanent captains this year with John Fox running the show.

The 2015 Bears’ captains are: running back Matt Forte, quarterback Jay Cutler, safety Antrel Rolle, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and kicker Robbie Gould.

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