After snagging his first touchdown of the season in Week 13, Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett will not be on the field this weekend to face the Minnesota Vikings, according to a report by Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
The 25-year-old Bennett currently ranks second on the Bears in both receiving yards (250) and targets (43), and was officially ruled out for this weekend's game due to a concussion suffered against the Seahawks on Sunday. Bears head coach Lovie Smith admitted that his fifth-year receiver "is making progress" but still has not been cleared to get back on the field.
"Earl Bennett is not playing this week," Smith said Thursday. "We have two guys out."
While Bennett's absence will strip quarterback Jay Cutler of one of his favorite targets, the Bears should benefit from the return of rookie Alshon Jeffery, who has missed seven games this season with hand and knee injuries. Jeffrey and fellow receiver Devin Hester were each limited participants on Thursday, but will be sorely needed against the Vikings with Bennett on the shelf.