LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- With just over three weeks left until the regular season opener, the Chicago Bears are still looking to fill the void in the return game left by the offseason departure of three-time Pro Bowl selection Devin Hester.
Having a success on kickoff and punt return is a team effort, but it’s fair to say that veteran Eric Weems (six kickoff returns for 139 yards) has failed to secure the role of the club’s primary returner through two preseason contests.
Weems fumbled on a first-quarter kickoff return against the Jaguars. That gaffe came one week after Michael Spurlock muffed a punt return in the preseason opener versus the Eagles.
Further complicating matters is the health of speedster Chris Williams, who’s been sidelined since injuring his hamstring while catching a 73 yard touchdown pass in the Eagles game. Williams did not dress against Jacksonville, but he spent a portion of the pregame testing out the hamstring by doing some light jogging and cutting on the Soldier Field turf.
“We’re not feeling good today about our kickoff return and punt return game right now,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “We have to do better.”
Running back Michael Ford is also in the mix, returning a pair of kickoffs for 49 yards in the preseason. Ford appeared in 12 games as a rookie in 2013 for the Bears, returning five kickoffs for 37 yards and making five special teams tackles.