Originally posted on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 10/18/12
When Alshon Jeffery broke his hand in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars there was disappointment in his loss, but optimism that Earl Bennett could step up in his place.  Bennett is a solid option and a favorite target of quarterback Jay Cutler.  He is a solid option as a slot receiver and can be counted on to make critical catches in the clutch. The need for Bennett to step up and excel in Jeffery's absence is critical to the continued success of the Bears' offense.  At some point Bennett needs to take his production to another level from the level that has earned him so much praise. Bennett hasn't been healthy for an entire season since his first year, which in some circles might earn you the injury prone label. He has only played an entire 16 game season once in his career, 2009 was the last year Bennett achieved that mark. As popular and or valuable Bennett is as a tough blue collar wide receiver, his value may be considered slightly inflated.  Only once in his career has had over 100 yards receiving in a game. His best strength may be that he makes extremely tough catches in very memorable fashion.  Bennett is also known for his consistency in making catches, having the lowest drop percentage of any wide receiver in the NFL in 2011. What Bennett needs to do is to become a more consistent game to game threat, especially with the Jeffery injury.  Teams are going to attack Brandon Marshall, and make other receivers step up their game to beat them.  Bennett has to be a counted on option more than just a clutch receiver. Bennett has to be more physical at beating press coverage, he needs to get more separation in his routes.  Bennett doesn't have route running problems, he just can be out muscled a lot easier than Marshall and Jeffery. While Bennett has been a favorite of both Cutler and the fans, while Jeffery is injured he needs to prove he can be counted in each game that Jeffery is out.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Molina rips Jones for saying Puerto Rico celebrated early

Bill Murray goes nuts celebrating Xavier’s upset

Pat Kelsey ditches UMass right before first press conference

Report: Top GM candidates not interested in Redskins job due to Daniel Snyder

Carmelo Anthony: Knicks were more free-flowing before triangle emphasis

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Deal in works for Raiders to play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas

Yoenis Cespedes: MLB would grow if they played with Latin culture

Georgetown fires John Thompson III after 13 seasons

GGG, Canelo Alvarez reportedly resume fight talks

Shaq comes clean on flat earth talk: ‘I’m joking, you idiots’

NFL to discuss possibility of reviewing penalties

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker