LAKE FOREST, Sick.,— In his NFL debut in Week 4 in opposition to the New York Giants, Bears rookie vast receiver Velus Jones Jr. muffed a punt with two minutes left within the fourth quarter, successfully ending any probability Chicago needed to come again from the 20-12 deficit it confronted. It wasn’t a terrific debut for the third-round select of Tennessee, and sadly for Jones, it wasn’t an remoted incident.
In Chicago’s Week 6 loss to the Washington Commanders, Jones fumbled a punt on Chicago’s 6-yard line within the fourth quarter, which led to a decisive Washington landing.
Jones was taken off return duties, with veteran wideout Dante Pettis taking his place. Most regarding of all has been the back-to-back wholesome scratches assigned to Jones Weeks 9 and 10. Contemplating he missed the primary three video games of the season with a hamstring Harm, getting as many snaps as doable to additional his reference to Justin Fields appears vital.
After N’Keal Harry was activated off injured reserve and the Bears added Chase Claypool, it left Jones having to struggle tougher for extra alternatives on offense, as nicely. Bears particular groups coordinator Richard Hightower says the rookie has been resolute in his want to get again on the sector.
“I’ve simply seen dedication. I’ve seen increasingly more dedication,” Hightower stated about Jones. “He is all the time been decided since he has gotten right here, however all rookies and all newcomers or first-year gamers, they actually understand what the league is. All of us understand stuff as soon as we get experiences, we be taught from them. I’ve seen nothing however positives from the child. The nice factor is, his demeanor hasn’t modified in a detrimental method. It has been constructive. He simply desires to work his tail off and show himself in apply.”
When requested if there was any changing sport reps for Jones, Hightower was candid.
“I don’t actually know in the event you can. I imply, that’s what the preseason is actually for for these younger guys. However in the event you guys keep in mind, Velus solely performed in a single preseason sport.”
Jones additionally fumbled in his lone preseason look in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks, however he did have a 48-yard punt return in that sport. Hightower says Jones lacking time within the preseason has resulted in common season video games taking the place of these early contests he missed.
“He missed two preseason video games and what occurs within the season? He has his two preseason video games play out throughout the common season. And what occurs if that occurs within the preseason? It don’t rely. He’ll be alright. But when it occurs within the common season when the sport’s on the road, then it issues extra, proper? In order that’s unlucky for him, however that’s what you noticed play out.”
Jones caught 62 passes for 807 yards and 7 touchdowns with the Volunteers final 12 months. He has three catches for twenty-four yards and a rating this season with the Bears, and he has additionally rushed the ball 3 times for 41 yards (that’s 13.7 yards per carry).
For his half, Jones is continuous to place his nostril to the grindstone. “I might say the place I am in, management what you’ll be able to management,” the rookie stated on November 17. “Simply preserve pushing.”
Jones additionally revealed what he has been doing to be able to get extra snaps: “Exhibiting the coaches that you just care, that you just need to play, you need to have the ability to assist this workforce win. Placing in additional work, correcting issues that want corrected … visiting with the coaches, asking them what I must do to get higher to raise my sport.”
Extensive receivers coach Tyke Tolbert hinted the workforce could have an expanded position for him on offense this weekend against the Falcons, so it will be attention-grabbing to see how typically he is integrated. Jones was the very best offensive choose for Chicago within the draft this 12 months, so hopefully, he can get extra alternatives to work with Fields.
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