Velus Jones Jr.

Is Bears WR Velus Jones Jr.’s roster spot in jeopardy this season?

The Chicago Bears spent a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft on former Tennesee wide receiver, Velus Jones Jr. It was a selection met with mockery, as critics joked about Jones’ advanced age (he turned 25 shortly after draft weekend last year).

To make matters worse, Jones’ rookie season was as close to a disaster as a season can get. He fumbled, muffed punts, and dropped passes. Essentially, anything that could go wrong for Jones last year did.

Jones ended 2022 with just seven receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown.

Indeed, Jones flashed some playmaking upside in the 2022 finale with 70 total yards, including a 42-yard touchdown run. But it’s hardly enough to qualify him as a lock to make the 2023 roster, and after special teams coach Richard Hightower’s comments from OTAs Wednesday, it appears Jones needs a big summer.

Hightower did note how Jones improved from last season, but if Jones is in a competition with Pettis to be the primary return man for the Chicago Bears in 2023? It’s hard to imagine his path to gameday reps.

Pettis is a more refined wide receiver than Jones. He gives the Bears a better option in the passing game. In fact, Pettis was Justin Fields’ primary receiver at times in 2022 (which is more of an indication of how bad the passing game was than a compliment to Pettis).

If Pettis and Jones perform at the same level as return men in training camp, it’ll be Pettis’ roster spot to lose.

Still, Jones does possess the ultimate trump card with his elite-level speed. Perhaps it’ll be enough to keep the Chicago Bears intrigued by his upside for another season. But if Jones hasn’t already been earmarked as Chicago’s return specialist in 2023, The Turk could be in his future.

Related News

Tyson Bagent

Chicago Bears clear path for QB Tyson Bagent to be Justin Fields’ backup

Chicago Bears

How to watch, stream, and listen to Bears vs. Chiefs Week 3 game

Alan Williams

Alan Williams’ resignation pours gasoline on dumpster fire day for Chicago Bears

Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Week 3: These 4 players should be in your lineup