Bears believe Velus Jones Jr. will benefit from new kickoff rules

The NFL implemented a new kickoff rule that will go into effect during the 2024 season, and it might just help Chicago Bears wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. secure a roster spot given the important of kickoff returns.

Special teams coordinator Richard Hightower believes Jones will be a huge beneficiary of the new kickoff rule, where he can be a valuable asset for Chicago’s offense.

“You can only think about a guy like Velus Jones,” Hightower said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “A guy like that with his type of skill set, with the speed and the power that he has, and he’s coming full speed ahead at you, it’s like a damn freight train running at you.”

With the new kickoff rule, kickers will need to place the ball within a “landing zone” from the 20-yard line to the end zone. Any kick that lands in that zone must be returned. The rules for touchbacks, which will come out to the 30-yard line: If a ball lands in the zone and rolls into the endzone, kicks that land in the end zone. If the ball lands short of the “landing zone,” it’ll be blown dead nad the ball moved to the 40-yard line.

Hightower believes the kickoff rule change will not only benefit Jones but the entire team given Jones is a threat with the ball in his hands.

“He’s gonna get an opportunity to touch the ball three or four more times a game,” Hightower said. “We all know he’s a very dynamic player with the ball in his hands. But this new rule, because of the landing zone, because of the league incentivizing returns, it’s only going to have a really good effect for not only our whole return team but for a guy like that to really change the game.”

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire