LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery expressed remorse for his failure to help the team over the past month while he served a suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the four-game ban, Jeffery said his absence probably cost the Bears a couple of victories.
"Just got to know what you put in your body," he said Wednesday. "I want to say that I feel like, if I was playing, some of those games we would have had a different outcome. We probably would have won."
When asked if he let the team down, Jeffery didn't hesitate.
"Most definitely," he said.
Minus Jeffery, Chicago's wide receivers dropped an NFL-record eight passes in a 27-21 loss to Tennessee on Nov. 27.
Last Sunday, reserve wideoutJosh Bellamydropped a pass from quarterback Matt Barkley that would've put the Bears in position to either tie or win in regulation against the Lions. Instead, the Bears lost 20-17 to fall to 3-10.
Jeffery declined to discuss the banned substance he ingested.
"I'm going to own up to it and I accept the punishment. At the end of the day, it's my name on it, so I'm moving forward with it," Jeffery said. "So it is what it is. I learned from it. That's all I can say."
After practice Wednesday, Jeffery revealed that he spent part of the suspension training in the state of Washington, and that he picked up yoga.
"I thought why not? I've got nothing else to do," Jeffery said with a laugh.
A former Pro Bowler, Jeffery, 26, played in just nine games last year because of injuries, but still caught 54 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns.
He signed a one-year franchise tag tender worth $14.599 million in March, but he lost $3.45 million -- the equivalent to four game checks -- due to the suspension. He started all nine games prior to his suspension, but he had only 40 receptions for 630 yards and one touchdown as the Bears suffered multiple injuries at quarterback.
Jeffery's best two seasons occurred from 2013-14, when he caught a combined 174 passes for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The veteran receiver does not believe the PED suspension will impact how teams view him if he reaches free agency in the offseason. The Bears have the right to apply the franchise tag to Jeffery again -- at an increased cost.
"It's up to [GM Ryan Pace] to judge, however the situation plays out," Jeffery said. "But right now, I'm on this team. That's all I care about and am focused on. I'm just going to go out there and just play hard. Whatever happens, happens. But I'm just going to go out there and play hard.
"It felt great. I was excited to get back out there with my guys. I missed playing football."
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery expresses remorse over PED suspension
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