Just one game remains in the Bears’ 2015 season, but it’ll take place without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and nose tackle Eddie Goldman. The Bears announced on Wednesday that they have placed the two young playmakers on season-ending injured reserve.
Jeffery has had a very productive season for the Bears — that is, when he was able to suit up and play on Sundays. He has battled multiple injuries since training camp, including a strained calf and a pulled hamstring, and has appeared in only nine games this season. In those games, however, Jeffery has averaged 6 catches for 89.6 yards and .44 touchdowns. Extrapolated over a full season, it comes out to about 96 catches for 1433 yards and 7 touchdowns.
The Bears have a tough decision awaiting them at season’s end. Jeffery’s contract is up and the team needs to decide what value they think he is worth given that he is one of the best receivers in the league when healthy, but he was unable to stay on the field this year and has a checkered past when it comes to health.
Goldman, meanwhile, has had a solid rookie season. Drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 39th overall selection, he saw early playing time in a rotation with veteran Jeremiah Ratliff. After Ratliff was released in October, Goldman saw more playing time and really improved his game down the stretch. Goldman suffered a high-ankle sprain in Sunday’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and did not return. The Bears have to feel good about Goldman as a solid building block of the future.