Jeffery: ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be aggressive’ in red zone
The Bears’ red-zone offense, which ranks 25th in the NFL this season, needs to put its foot on the gas Thursday night.
“I just think sometimes you’ve got to be aggressive,” wide receiver Alshon Jeffery said. “Sometimes you’ve got to go [for] it. That’s part of football.”
The Bears have scored nine touchdowns in 19 trips inside the 20-yard line this season (47.4 percent). The Packers are seventh in red-zone defense — allowing six touchdowns in 13 trips inside the 20.
Red-zone offense was a huge factor when the Bears beat the Packers 17-13 at Lambeau Field last year. The Bears scored two touchdowns and kicked a field goal in three red-zone opportunities. The Bears also did not commit a penalty in any of their red-zone possessions in that game and were 4-of-5 on third-down covernsions. So it’s more than just a matter of being aggressive. But quarterback Brian Hoyer has to find a happier medium.
“We want him to be as aggressive as he can in the timing of the play,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said, “so there are shot opportunities that are called and we have to execute. Brian has done a nice job o doing what he’s coached to do.”
Jay Cutler (sprained thumb) was one of nine players who did not practice Thursday. Also out were guard Josh Sitton (ankle), cornerbacks Tracy Porter (knee) and Bryce Callahan (hamstring), nose tackle Eddie Goldman (ankle), wide receiver Eddie Royal (toe), outside linebacker Sam Acho (personal), running back Jeremy Langford (ankle) and cornerback Deiondre Hall (ankle).
Tight end Zach Miller (ribs), linebacker Jerrell Freeman (wrist), linebacker Leonard Floyd (calf) and running back Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring) were limited in practice.
Packers cornerback Sam Shields, a noted Bears nemesis, was put on injured reserve after missing the last four games with a concussion. Shields has four interceptions — including two in the NFC Championship Game in 2011 — and 16 pass break-ups in 13 career games against the Bears.
Shields and running back Eddie Lacy (ankle) were among eight Packers who did not practice Tuesday. The others were wide receiver Davante Adams (concussion), tight end Jared Cook (ankle), cornerbacks Damarious Randall (groin) and Quinten Rollins (groin), running back James Starks (knee) and safety Chris Banjo (hamstring).