Alshon Jeffery and the long ball take back seat to Eddie Royal’s short game

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For fantasy football owners who have Alshon Jeffery on their teams, Jay Cutler can’t come back soon enough.

Jeffery took a backseat to slot receiver Eddie Royal in Sunday’s 17-14 victory over the Detroit Lions, catching just three passes for 46 yards. Royal, meanwhile, caught 7 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown and was a focal point in the offense for backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.

It’s not like Jeffery became obsolete ever since Cutler went down with a thumb injury, but he certainly lost his big-play potential. The Bears chose to go with an offensive game plan that kept Hoyer on the move and tossing passes in the short and intermediate areas of the field.

While that game plan certainly worked for the Bears — it led to a victory, after all — it certainly limits what Jeffery can bring to an offense. I’m not sure the Bears have even tested the deep part of the field, throwing the ball up to Jeffery while Hoyer has been under center.

Having that vertical deep threat is an added dimension to an offense that keeps defenses honest and stops them from crowding the line of scrimmage.

We know Cutler and Jeffery have had that rapport … can Hoyer show anything that resembles that? If not, Jeffery’s fantasy owners are going to be scouring the waiver wire for help at wide receiver.

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