With the departure of Cordarrele Patterson, the Bears will need to find someone else who can return kicks for them. Here are some
1. Khalil Herbert
At Virginia Tech, Herbert was the teams kick returner. The 2021 5th round pick returned 16 kicks for 430 yards. Looking at the running back depth chart, Herbert might not see the field a lot his rookie year. Putting him at kick returner will get him on the field and allow him to make an impact for the team.
2. Marquise Goodwin
The Bears signed Goodwin to add more speed to the receiver room. Could he provide speed on special teams too? Maybe. He definitely has the ability. The only problem is Goodwin hasn’t returned kicks since 2015. He also has been out of football for a while, as he opted out in 2020. It may be tough to get back in the swing of things at receiver, but to also remember how to return kicks? We’ll see if he gets that role.
3. Damiere Byrd
The Bears signed Byrd to a 1 year deal this offseason. He returned kicks a little bit back when he was with Carolina. Byrd returned 10 kicks for 29.4 yard average. He’s another guy who hasn’t returned in a while. He’s only made 4 returns since leaving the Panthers in 2019. Byrd is also in the mix but it’s pretty unknown on what the coaches will decide to do with this spot.
4. Dazz Newsome
Newsome mainly returned punts at North Carolina. Although he did return some kicks. He only returned 7 kicks for a 20.6 yard average. It’s no secret Newsome is allusive. If he were put in the role of kick returner, I think he would definitely perform there. Also considering the fact that he at least has some recent experience returning kicks.
5. Tarik Cohen?
This one is unlikely. But Cohen does have some kick returning experience. It doesn’t seem realistic however due to his recent ACL tear while returning punts. You may risk his role on offense if you put him both at kick returner and punt returner.
There are 5 potential players that could be returning kicks for the Bears in 2021. It should be interesting to see who will be back to receive the opening kick of the Bears 2021 season!