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Alshon Jeffery expected to play for Bears vs. 49ers

Bears head coach Lovie Smith says that the receiver will help both the passing and rushing offense.

Sam Greenwood

The Chicago Bears will likely have an additional weapon for Jason Campbell to work with on Monday night, as rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is expected to play after missing four games with a hand injury,

Jeffery, 22, recorded at least one reception in each of the first five games of the season for the Bears before breaking his right hand in Week 5 against the Jaguars. However, he has since recovered and practiced fully on Friday for the first time since suffering the injury. The progress has encouraged coaches and Bears head coach Lovie Smith told John Mullin of CSN Chicago that the return of Jeffery will help both the passing and running game:

"Alshon Jeffery really looked good, so we have him at full practice right now. Alshon was playing great ball when he went down with the injury, when he hurt his hand. Another big target. Another guy for Jason to throw to if it comes to that. Another guy with some size to block if we lean more towards the run."

In his place, the Bears turned even more to Brandon Marshall, the three-time Pro Bowler who is on a record-breaking pace in 2012. However, while Marshall has 904 yards receiving and 67 receptions, no other Bears receiver has reached 200 yards receiving yet.

A second round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Jeffery accumulated 14 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns before his injury.