Jesper Horsted was a Chicago Bears UDFA from their 2019 class, and he actually spent some time on the 53 man roster that year making one start in six games, with eight receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. In total he played 115 offensive snaps as a rookie (11%), and he helped on special teams by getting in on 29 snaps (7%), but he spent all of the 2020 season on the practice squad.
The Bears completely revamped their tight end room before 2020, but they felt Horsted showed enough to stick around, and as a converted wide receiver from Princeton he would take some time to develop his tight end skills.
Has he shown enough to win a job on the 53-man roster this season?
Before Jesse James was signed I thought Horsted had a nice chance to make the opening week team, but now he’s in a battle for the fourth tight end spot with J.P. Holtz., who has a vert different skill set to Horsted’s. Holtz is more in-line blocker and occasional fullback, whereas Horsted is a classic move-TE. The Bears need to be down to 53 players by Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Central, at which time we’ll know Jesper’s fate.
Regardless, Horsted is sticking around the league, as he’ll either make the Bears’ 53, get cut then come back to their practice squad, or get cut and then claimed on waivers by another team. It’s also possible the Bears open up with five tight ends, which is something they did last season.
But let’s take a closer look at his three TDs against the Titans.
Great pass. Great catch. @justnfields hits @JHorsted for 6!#CHIvsTEN | #DaBears pic.twitter.com/MsdGkK8fMA— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 29, 2021
Justin Fields felt some outside pressure so he stepped up, then rolled right to mirror the route from his tight end, and then he threw an accurate pass to a spot that only Horsted could catch it.
“That was just an example of the power of Justin Fields,” Horsted said about the throw.
Nick Foles came in for the second half, and Foles found Horsted slanting over the middle for his second TD reception.
.@NickFoles finds @JHorsted in traffic to extend the lead! #CHIvsTEN | #DaBears pic.twitter.com/S17MjOCCBl— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 29, 2021
The other tight end on this play, Scooter Harrington (#49), was held on the play, but if he wasn’t held I think his job was to occupy the single high safety which would have opened the window for Foles to hit Horsted. Harrington getting held makes this play look too jumbled with two receivers in the same area, but regardless it was a nice read by Foles and a good job from Hortsed keeping the defender behind him.
This third TD catch was just ridiculous as Horsted makes a one-handed grad and then takes it the rest of the way for the score.
ONE-HANDED GRAB FOR THE HAT-TRICK!#CHIvsTEN | @JHorsted pic.twitter.com/E5wDK2qjAX— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 29, 2021
Horsted comes from the left side Y spot, and he runs a nice route, but the pass was placed so only Horsted could make a play on it. The speed he showed in going the final 25 yards was good to see too.
In all Jesper had 5 receptions for 104 yards against the Titans, and he had 1 other catch for 9 yards a week ago, but his overall training camp performance has been getting a bit of buzz too.
Do you guys think Hortsed makes it on the 2021 53-man roster?