Bear Necessities: Velus Jones Jr. looking to close rookie season out on high note

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Bears rookie Velus Jones Jr.’s rookie season has gone from nightmarish to encouraging over the last few weeks.

Jones said that his slow start this year was due to a hamstring injury suffered in the preseason.

“What really held me back in the beginning was my hamstring injury,” he said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “It was carrying on into the season and stuff. I feel like that was what held me back. Do I know the playbook better now? For sure I do. But I feel like it was more of my hamstring that held me back more than anything.”

For most of the season, Jones was struggling to carve out a role for himself on offense. And he struggled on special teams when it came to fielding punts, including two costly muffs.

But these last few weeks have proven to be impactful, as Jones’ future went from murky to encouraging.

“I feel like I’ve been upward with my production, practice habits and stuff like that,” Jones said. “Everything is trending in the right direction. Just continue to be me. Just stay mentally focused and locked in. And everything else will take care of itself. Just keep putting in extra work.”

As the Bears prepare for their regular season finale, Jones is looking to close his rookie year out on a high note. He wants to live up to his third-round billing.

“I would like to be the best version of myself, no matter how many snaps, how many kickoff returns I get,” Jones Jr. said. “Be the person that they drafted.”

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire