Velus Jones shows playmaking ability in preseason debut

·2 min read

Bears rookie Velus Jones Jr. fumbled the opening kickoff at the end of a 31-yard return Thursday night. He recovered but lost 3 yards. He later showed why the Bears drafted him, returning a punt 48 yards to set up a touchdown.

Jones learned long ago to have a short memory.

“Growing up, my grandma always taught me there’s nothing you can do about something if it’s in the past, and I have that mentality,” Jones said, via Larry Mayer of the team website. “I know in this game of football, adversity can strike anytime in the game. It’s how you respond. I know my abilities. I know what I can do when I get the ball in my hands. So it’s never stressful. I’m never down on myself; just looking forward to the next play.”

The Bears drafted Jones in the third round to do what he did against the Seahawks. He was SEC co-special teams player of the year in 2021 while at Tennessee, returning one kickoff for a touchdown and averaging 15.1 yards on 18 punt returns.

“He’s fast, for sure,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “He’s explosive. It’s a challenge for him because he’s a rookie, and he’s going to have to come in there and show guys what he can do. I think he’s up for the challenge.”

Jones missed the preseason opener with an undisclosed injury, so Thursday marked his preseason debut. He had two punt returns, a kickoff return and caught a pass for 4 yards.

“It’s a big confidence boost,” Jones said. “All day in the hotel I was just thinking about the plays I was going to make, just trying to visualize everything, so it was a good feeling overall.”

Velus Jones shows playmaking ability in preseason debut originally appeared on Pro Football Talk