Why Chicago Bears trade for Jakeem Grant impacts Khalil Herbert and Tarik Cohen
The Chicago Bears have a need for speed, and continued to fill that with a trade for Jakeem Grant. The Bears traded a future sixth round pick for the speedster, who is about 5’6″ tall, but also runs a 4.38 40-yard dash. The move is interesting in a few ways.
To start, the need for speed. He joins Darnell Mooney, Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, and Breshard Perriman as players who are considered burners. Mooney may be the only complete wide out, but it is clear that run fast is a key to the Bears WR group. Having a deep ball thrower like Justin Fields certainly gives Creedence to these moves.
Still, beyond just adding a speed threat, this move may impact Khalil Herbert the most. Grant has experience as a punt and kick returner. Considering the investment in him, and his minimal impact on offense, the thought is that he will start at both.
Nsimba Webster likely just lost his roster spot to Grant, but Herbert lost his kick return job as well. That is probably because he is up for a promotion, though.
With David Montgomery injured, the team will rely on Herbert as a runner between the tackles for them. Damien Williams is banged up as well, and while he will not miss as much time, his status is questionable at the moment.
The Bears have two banged up running backs meaning Herbert could see legitimate workload on Sunday. To start, no way can Herbert return a kick then jump right into the backfield and lead a drive down the field. Beyond that, the Bears cannot risk injuring Herbert returning kicks considering how much they value him.
Does Jakeem Grant speak to Chicago Bears confidence in Tarik Cohen?
The Bears thought Tarik Cohen would be back for week one, but put him on the PUP, ensuring he would miss six weeks. While it has been quiet on his front, perhaps the set back was worse than expected with the move for Grant.
Grant will return kicks, but until Cohen is healthy he will be the punt return man. If they expected Cohen back soon, perhaps they do not trade for someone who could return punts. Beyond that, Grant is a wide out, but essentially is gadget player on offense in the same manner of Cohen. When Cohen returns Grant would appear to be a bit redundant. Are the Bears worried that Cohen may not be back soon?