A familiar face is back with the Bears and another recently acquired player is gone.
The team traded for wide receiver/punt returner Jakeem Grant and waived return man Nsimba Webster after four games of rather non-descript punt returns. Webster averaged 3.3 yards on four returns and had one muff which the Bears recovered. In the game against Detroit, he failed to field two punts that were then downed inside the 10.
To acquire Grant, the Bears gave up a future conditional late-round pick.
Grant is 5-foot-7, 170 pounds and 28 years old. He has eight returns this year for a 7.4-yard average but in the past had a few strong years as Miami's return man.
In 2018 he averaged 16.3 yards for 14 returns and last year averaged 11.4 yards on 29 returns. Grant's career average for eight seasons and 101 punt returns is 9.7 yards.
Grant has also returned kicks in the past but only on a part-time basis the last two years. In 2018 when he had a career-best 16.3-yard punt return average he also had a kick return average of 29.7 yards and a 102-yard touchdown return. .
For 89 career kick returns he has a 24.8-yard average. He has three punt returns for touchdowns and two kick returns for TDs.
According to Alain Poupart of All Dolphins, Grant probably sealed his fate with a muffed punt in the last game and the team was looking to part ways with him.
The familiar face who has returned to Halas Hall is running back Artavis Pierce, who has been added back to the practice squad. Linebacker Rashad Smith was cut from the practice squad to make room for Pierce, who was with the team all last season and got into five games. He had spent most of the season on the practice squad. Pierce had six carries for 35 yards against Jacksonville, including a 23-yarder.
The Bears cut Pierce a month ago, but the injury to David Montgomery could keep him out for a reported four to five weeks and they would need an extra back available. Backup Bears running back Damien Williams is suffering from a thigh bruise and the severity of that injury is not known.
What this trade and move to sign another back could mean is the Bears are not counting on any help this year from Tarik Cohen, who is eligible to return from the Physically Unable to Perform List after the Green Bay game at Soldier Field on Oct. 17.
Just before the regular season coach Matt Nagy did not want to answer questions about whether Cohen required a second surgery on the knee he had repaired following a Week 3 torn ACL last season.
Grant can also catch passes. He had 36 receptions in 2020 for 373 yards, both career highs. He has 91 catches for 1,001 yards in his six-year career.