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Chicago Bears: Velus Jones Jr. chances to make roster take major boost after quote from coach

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Chicago Bears special teams coach Richard Hightower calls Velus Jones Jr. “one of the best” kick returners in the NFL

Last year, Velus Jones Jr. was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, as the team had visions on him being one of their core wide receivers for the future. His speed and agility were the best traits Jones had to offer coming out of Tennessee, as well as his punt and kick return ability.

Velus had a tough rookie season. He caught just seven passes over 12 games and only got into the endzone twice, not nearly what may have been expected when he was drafted. His fumble issues on the punt return also killed his chances to see the field more, as he lost the ball three times over the course of just a season. A major area of concern heading into preseason this year.

However, his kick return stats were pretty good. So good that special teams coach Richard Hightower had praise for Jones, as he called him one of the best in the NFL in that category.

Hightower isn’t wrong. Jones ranked 7th in the NFL in kick return yards with an average of 27 yards per return. Those are pretty good numbers, but as a punt returner, it’s been hard to trust him as he just can’t hang onto the ball. He even muffed one during the first week of the preseason.

Jones has a good shot at making this team regardless of his prior struggles. I even have him listed as making the cut in my own 53-man roster projections, which you can read here. The Chicago Bears aren’t ready to give up on the kid, clearly his special teams’ coach isn’t. However, the fanbase may say otherwise, but they don’t make these decisions.


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