Bears update Jakeem Grant’s status after Vikings injury


Jakeem Grant # 17 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down against the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field on November 21, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Ravens defeated the Bears 16-13.

The Chicago Bears may need a new punt returner for the time being after losing Pro Bowl return specialist Jakeem Grant to a concussion in the Week 15 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Monday Night Football.

Grant was eliminated in Monday’s 17-9 loss after hitting his head against the turf at the end of a 4-yard run on the third down at the end of the second quarter. Grant had started to fall at the end of his run and received a nasty blow to the back of his shoulder from Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson who knocked him to the ground.

Grant was left out for the remainder of the first half to be assessed for a concussion and was officially ruled out the rest of the way at the start of the second half.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy had little to say about Grant’s post-game status, only telling reporters he was in the league’s concussion protocol.

VideoBear video updates Jakeem Grant’s status after viking injury2021-12-21T00: 26: 57-05: 00

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Grant became the weapon of the Pro Bowl

Grant took a little while to find his niche with Chicago after being traded from Miami in October, but the 29-year-old wide receiver has become a dynamic comeback weapon for the Bears in recent months.

Grant is averaging the second-most yardage (13.2) among punt returns with at least 20 returns this season and escaped for a 97-yard touchdown last week against the Green Bay Packers. . He was also solid in his limited role for offense with nine receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns and five carries for 33 yards, including a 13-yard dash he hit against the Vikings before leaving the game with his. injury.

Earlier Monday, the Bears announced that Grant had been elected to the 2022 Pro Bowl as a return specialist alongside outside linebacker Robert Quinn. This is the first time in six seasons in the NFL that he has been selected for a Pro Bowl roster; however, he was named to the All-Pro second team with the Dolphins during the 2020 season.

Bears struggled after Grant’s exit

The Bears didn’t have to wait long to feel the impact of Grant’s removal from the game plan. As they ended up scoring some of their only points of the night on training in which he suffered his concussion, the attack appeared to lose some of his cunning without him available. They also only tried one more wide receiver shot on the night after rushing twice with Grant early on, gaining just three yards with Darnell Mooney.

The biggest problem, however, has arisen in Grant’s area of ​​expertise: Punt’s return.

Damiere Byrd took over the punt return duties for the Bears after Grant was injured and managed to spoil his first attempt to play the ball, allowing the ball to bounce off his hands and out of reach into a bunch of current players. Minnesota ended up picking it up at the Bears’ 37-yard line; however, they were fortunate enough not to surrender any points despite the excellent field position this gave the Vikings.

If Grant ends up running out of game time with his concussion, the Bears might consider using rookie running back Khalil Herbert for the kickoffs and punters. He averaged 30.5 yards on two kickoff returns against the Vikings and further showed his good hands with three receptions for 34 yards on four Justin Fields targets.

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