It is time for Chicago Bears to bench this wide receiver
After the debacle at the end of the game in which Ihmir Smith-Marsette fumbled the game away, many fans are wanting him to be cut or for the team to move on from him. While that is a debate for another day, ISM has just run just 17 routes with the Chicago Bears, while Dante Pettis has run 89.
Should Chicago Bears reduce Dante Pettis’ playing time?
Despite that, they have the same number of receptions, and Pettis is hanging onto that one catch for 51 yards from week one as his only saving grace. Beyond that, it is less about Pettis and ISM and more about Pettis himself.
With 89 routes ran and 51 yards, his yards per route run sits at 0.57. That is about as bad as it gets. In fact, the only players with lower yards per route run with as many routes as Pettis are Allen Robinson, Demarcus Robinson, Mike Thomas of the Bengals, and AJ Green.
How far has Robinson fallen that he is in a group with these guys? Still, it shows you how bad Pettis has been when he is about as productive as Robinson on a per-route basis this season.
That low yards per route run was aided by two drops this Sunday against the Vikings. Both plays would have moved the chains, making it even more frustrating.
With his low number of targets, he now officially leads the NFL in drop rate as well. So, right now the Chicago Bears are trotting out the fifth-lowest player in yards per route run, and the leader in drops out there as their number three wide receiver. That is probably why Smith-Marsette was on the field in the first place.
The Chicago Bears saw Velus Jones get his first two routes of his career on Sunday. The thought would be that he can start to step into the role. Beyond that, they reinstated N’Keal Harry from the IR, and if he does not play Thursday, he surely should be active for the next game on Monday Night Football.
With that in mind, the timing is right to move Pettis from the number three to perhaps the fourth or even fifth wide receiver in the pecking order. If they trust ISM over him, Pettis will be inactive, but if the Chicago Bears can get both of them pushed down the totem pole it could be a nice step forward.