The subsequent-man-up philosophy is anticipated to offer Chicago Bears rookie Velus Jones Jr. one other shot.
The third-round draft decide has been inactive for the final two video games, a wholesome scratch for a workforce that chosen the huge receiver with the thought he could be a weapon on offense and particular groups. Whereas younger gamers have amassed loads of taking part in time at many positions, Jones’ probabilities have been fewer and just lately additional between.
The Bears positioned operating again Khalil Herbert on injured reserve Tuesday with a hip challenge, that means they should account for his loss within the backfield and discover a new kick returner. Herbert was injured Sunday in the course of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions at Soldier Area, and likelihood is Jones will fill that position /Sunday.
Particular groups coordinator Richard Hightower didn’t need to tip his hand about who would be the returner, however operating again Trestan Ebner steps right into a place as David Montgomery’s backup, and the Bears seemingly gained’t need to danger extra attrition on the place by utilizing the rookie from Baylor. That provides Jones a very good likelihood to be the kickoff returner, one thing he final did in Week 8 towards the Dallas Cowboys.
Jones was pulled from punt return duties after a muff within the Week 6 loss to the Washington Commanders. It was his second in three video games after fumbling a punt towards the New York Giants late in a Week 4 defeat. The Bears stay happy with the work of receiver Dante Pettis as punt returner.
Jones, who has averaged 21.2 yards on six kickoff returns, hasn’t gotten loads of traction offensively, mainly serving as a gadget participant. He has three receptions for twenty-four yards and a landing and three carries for 41 yards.
Might he be used as a operating again to assist ease the lack of Herbert?
“We’re going to take a look at as many various methods as attainable to fill that void,” offensive coordinator Luke Getsy stated. “Nothing will essentially change Khalil. He’s executed such a pleasant job for us. We’re a bunch of various issues.”
Jones performed a bit operating again at Saraland (Ala.) Excessive College earlier than turning into a receiver at USC after which Tennessee.
“Lots of groups favored to bracket me as a receiver,” Jones stated. “(Coach) would put me within the backfield simply to get the ball in my palms. I can do many various issues. We’ll see if they’ve a few of that in thoughts so as to add to the playbook.”
A extra standard solution to change Herbert within the backfield would be capable of develop Ebner’s position. Getsy has regarded for all kinds of how at hand the ball off, although — receivers have 13 mixed speeding makes an attempt and tight finish Cole Kmet has two.
It’s only one solution to attempt to get Jones concerned once more.
“He’s getting reps with us, he’s getting reps with the scout workforce a part of it,” Getsy stated. “He’s been nice. He’s positively been dialed in. (Receivers coach) Tyke (Tolbert) does an excellent job with him. He’s positively getting higher mentally so far as attending to do extra issues. So he’s positively heading in the right direction.”
Being lively on recreation days once more would give Jones an opportunity to construct some momentum, however he doesn’t have any particular targets in thoughts for the ultimate seven video games.
“Simply to be accessible,” he stated. “When my title is named, make a play and assist this workforce win.”
Step one is getting a uniform Sunday in Atlanta.