Chicago Bears: 5 Players who need to step up in Week 5 vs Raiders

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images /
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Chicago Bears
Jakeem Grant. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Jakeem Grant helping the return game helps the offense

While people have been concerned with the offense or with the secondary, the special teams unit, notably the punt return game, has struggled.

Herbert has done a pretty good job at kickoff returns. He’s averaging 28.2 yards per return with a long of 50. With the punt return, however, Nsimba Webster seemed indecisive. He only returned four punts for just 13 yards. Six of those came on one return. He brought back bad memories of Ted Ginn Jr. from last season. Ginn also seemed to shy away from returning punts.

With Herbert now having to help in the backfield, he won’t see much, if any, action on returns. With Webster’s struggles and no one else on the roster with returning experience, the Bears decided to pull the trigger on a trade. They gave up a 2023 sixth-round pick to acquire wide receiver and All-Pro returner Jakeem Grant.

Grant has had a slow start to his season, but he is an electric returner. He returns both punts and kickoffs. He led the league in punt or kickoff return touchdowns four times. He is the Miami Dolphins’ franchise leader in return yards and return touchdowns.

Perhaps a change of scenery could help Grant.

For the Bears, adding a returner with Grant’s ability could really help the offense. Having to consistently start a drive inside the 20 makes it difficult for the offense to score. If Grant can make some good returns and give the offense a shorter field to work with will help Fields and the offense. That should lead to more points and possibly more victories.