It Sounds Velus Jones Jr. Has a Lot of Work To Do Before Getting a Second Chance

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It Sounds Velus Jones Jr. Has a Lot of Work To Do Before Getting a Second Chance

Chicago Bears

Velus Jones Jr. was a surprise inactive for last week’s Bears-Dolphins game. Everybody was getting bumped down the pecking order when Chase Claypool arrived in Chicago via trade. And that meant somebody was destined to get bumped off the active game day roster. But I didn’t expect it to be Jones, the rookie third-round pick who is looking to make an impact as a developing player.

However, we probably should’ve seen this coming. Remember, Jones has been battling injuries and poor play in the early going of his playing career. And because this coaching staff hasn’t been shy about using playing time (or a lack of it) as a motivational tool, Jones being a healthy scratch was always a possibility.

So … what does Jones need to do to get back into the action? Well, it’s complicated.

These quotes from Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus are telling:

On the one hand, I appreciate Eberflus’ honesty. Being up front is a good look for him. And when you’re that honest publicly, it is also good for the player (and us as fans) as we all try to get a feel for the first-year coach. But on the other hand, dang. It sure sounds like Velus has a ton of work to do before he earns more playing time. And it won’t be easy.

For what it’s worth, Jones gets it and is taking last week’s demotion to heart:

The good news here is that Jones appears to understand why he is in the dog house. And he seems to know what he needs to do to get out of it. But the bad news is that Jones shouldn’t be on the outside looking in at the receiver rotation in the first place.

Jones was in a good position to contribute immediately to this team. He cozied up to Justin Fields, snagging a locker next to Chicago’s QB1. During minicamps and training camp, Jones was lining up everywhere as he was getting a crash course at the receiver position as a rookie. And things were lining up for him to be an early contributor as a return specialist early in his playing career. But between injuries that kept him out of games early in the season, issues handling punts, and an inability to haul in passes, Jones falling on hard times has knocked him down a few pegs. Now, I’m not even sure what to expect from the Tennessee product.

Maybe that is a good thing.

Jones needs a clean slate. And we could all probably use a reset for a player who was the lone high-profile addition to the receivers room from Ryan Poles’ first offseason as Bears general manager. Perhaps being a healthy scratch provides that for all parties — player, coaches, fans … everyone. At minimum, it should give Jones an opportunity for a fresh start whenever he gets back into the lineup. Sometimes that is all a guy needs to put everything in perspective.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.