|Receiver Earl Bennett could figure into the Bears' plans for Monday's game against the Lions after being sidelined with an injured hand. "I feel good," he said Monday. (US Presswire)|
One wide receiver goes out while another returns for the Chicago Bears. Wide receiver Earl Bennett is ready to play again after a hand injury just as Alshon Jeffery is sidelined with a fractured hand.
"My hand feels good," Bennett said after Monday's practice. "I got a chance to run around and catch the ball. No pain at all. I feel good."
Bennett has six catches this year, and Jeffery has had a bigger part in the offense with 14 catches for 184 yards. Although Bennett essentially plays a different position, he can step right into Jeffery's spot because he has a good grasp of all the positions in the offense.
There's no official injury report yet because it's too early in the week, but Bennett pronounced himself fit to play and he particpated fully in practice.
Watching practice and the success of the team the past few games has been difficult for Bennett.
"Those guys are out there making plays, just having fun," he said. "We're winning and it's tough to sit back and just watch and not be a part of the fun."
Bennett has a couple things going his way besides his knowledge of the offense. He has had good games against Detroit's defense in the past. He matched a career high with seven catches and set a career high with 104 receiving yards in 2010 against Detroit. Bennett had six catches for 81 yards last year against the Lions in his second game back from an injury that kept him out of five games. In his first game back, Bennett had five catches for 95 yards and a TD in a primetime game vs. Philadelphia.
"Earl has helped us win a lot of games around here," coach Lovie Smith said. "He has been in different roles, also. It was hard for him to be out. But when you have a good player like Alshon that goes down and you can replace him with a guy like Earl, it says a little bit about how strong our 53-man roster is."
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSBears.