Did Chicago Bears find their future return man?
When the Chicago Bears claimed Nsimba Webster it was a bit surprising mainly because the name is not very familiar. We are talking about a UDFA from Eastern Washington who has zero catches in two full seasons with the LA Rams. Then, he went to San Francisco and did not stick around.
With that in mind, there was a question of why they would go out of their way to claim him. To claim a player you must keep him active for three weeks. Then, things got rather clear. Nsimba Webster was signed to be the Chicago Bears’ return man.
Nsimba Webster 32 career punt returns, and 18 kick-off returns. He is not an elite return man by any stretch, but the Chicago Bears had serious questions about who would be their return man.
The Bears first option to return punts is Tarik Cohen who is on PUP. The next is Dazz Newsome, who did not make the team. He is coming back from injury and is a rookie who may not be ready, even to return punts.
They had Jordan Lucas return punts in the preseason and he is on the IR. Webster coming in with 32 punt returns basically makes him the leader in the clubhouse and gives him no competition.
The Chicago Bears also may look to him to return kicks, but there will be an actual competition there. Khalil Herbert has essentially be handed the Cordarelle Patterson role as a third running back who return kicks. The good news is that Herbert is an actual running back. The bad news is that he has nothing on Patterson as a return man.
Herbert struggled mightily in the preseason and it did look like he won the job by default, or by draft status.
Webster could very easily come in and take that job from the rookie as well. At the very least, he will force Herbert to step his game up, or give Herbert a thing or two to learn in that area.
Nsimba Webster will not be talked about, but the return game value he brings made him a must-add player.