The Chicago Bears practice squad just became that much more fleet of foot (fleeter of foot?):
#Bears roster update:
We have signed WR Cyril Grayson to the practice squad.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) November 27, 2018
Wide receiver Cyril Grayson was signed to the team’s practice squad today, taking up the final spot on the 10-player unit. If that name rings a bell, it’s probably because you’re a die-hard BNB reader (for which you should be commended) with an immaculate memory: Grayson was one of three wide receivers who were in for a Halas Hall tryout back in September.
Grayson was a track standout at LSU, where he was a seven-time All-American and four-time NCAA champion. That’s the kind of winning pedigree you dream of translating to the field of any athletic competition. I suppose adding Grayson – who starred in the 200-meter, 400-meter, and 800-meter runs – to the mix could help boost the Bears’ speed. Or they could just be testing the waters and trying to leave no stone left un-turned when seeking out talent.
Grayson’s addition to the Bears’ practice squad boils down to one word: speed. It’s at the crux of everything the team is doing now (on both sides of the ball) and will be a focal point of things moving forward.
If you really want to dream on Grayson’s upside, perhaps there’s a future role for him as a return specialist. Back when he was with the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, Grayson spent some time as a kick return specialist. The Bears could use an upgrade there, as neither Benny Cunningham nor Taquan Mizzell Sr. has been able to break a big one in the return game yet. And while our gut tells us we want to see Tarik Cohen out there, his importance to the offense is far too valuable to risk him on two special teams return units. With that said, perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the last two additions to the practice squad (ICYMI: John Franklin III is back) are known speedsters with preseason experience as return specialists.
So no, Grayson won’t snatch up a wide receiver spot on the 53-man roster right away – thanks to the Bears massively improved depth, the days of signing guys to the practice squad and wondering how long they’ll take to make an impact on the big league level are mercifully behind us – but he is a project with a high-grade skill that could be useful at the next level some day.
And as far as I’m concerned, that’s intriguing as hell.