Today is a Good Day to Get Velus Jones Jr. Out of the Dog House

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Today is a Good Day to Get Velus Jones Jr. Out of the Dog House

Chicago Bears

With Khalil Herbert set to miss the next four games (at least) while on injured reserve, the Chicago Bears need to get creative in replacing his production.

One such way could be by getting Velus Jones Jr. the ball in the running game. Getting a wideout into the mix via the ground game instead of through the air might seem backward. But after the Bears’ recent loss to the Cowboys, radio analyst Tom Thayer broke down some game tape and explained how the Bears used Velus Jones Jr. as a ball carrier. And now, I’m intrigued:

There’s good stuff there showing how Jones was able to pick up chunk yardage in what is essentially a running back role. And without Herbert around to eat up a bunch of carries, this would be one of the most creative (and potentially explosive) ways to make up for his absence. But there’s a “but” … and it’s a big one. Because we don’t even know if Jones will be available for action.

Jones has been a healthy scratch for each of the past two games. And for a variety of reasons, too. Jones’ struggles (two muffed punts and a key dropped pass negating what should’ve been a large gain through the air) were key in his benching. But Chase Claypool’s arrival changed the dynamic of the receivers’ room. So did the return of Byron Pringle from IR. N’Keal Harry’s presence also played a role in bumping Jones down the depth chart. Once positioned to be a top target for Justin Fields, Jones is now in the dog house. But there is no better time to get him out than now.

Don’t get me wrong. Playing time is something a player earns. And I don’t want this coaching staff to set a precedent of giving players reps because of their draft status. However, I believe in second chances. Moreover, I feel as if back-to-back healthy scratches will probably serve as a wake-up call for the rookie. These Bears coaches should be actively seeking ways to get the most of the players at their disposal. And for this team, that means extracting what it can from Jones. Not just because he was a third-round pick by first-year GM Ryan Poles. But because Jones — despite his flaws — still has a unique set of skills that can be deployed in a way that helps the Bears move the ball and score points.



Author: Luis Medina

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