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Eric Weems to Receive Larger Role Due to Devin Hester Concussion

November 28th, 2012 at 9:16 AM
By PJ Foti

This offseason, the Chicago Bears brought in wide receiver/return specialist Eric Weems via free agency from the Atlanta Falcons. The question heading into the season was simply: why?

It was originally thought that Devin Hester was being removed from return duties and the team would focus more on him becoming the No. 2 receiver. Although he started the year lined up opposite Brandon Marshall, he was quickly overtaken by rookie Alshon Jeffery prior to his injury woes.

Even with Hester lined up as the team's No. 2 receiver, he was still returning both punts and kicks. Once again, leading to the question: why is Weems here?

Well, Hester suffered a concussion in the first quarter of Chicago's 28-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings meaning Weems' role with the team will be heavily increasing.

He will now be on the field in an offensive role, as well as on special teams.

He returned three kicks against the Vikings Sunday and averaged 21.7 yards per return. He was also on the field for defensive special teams purposes and made two tackles.

Where Weems will be seeing more work than originally thought will be wide receiver.

After Hester left Sunday's game, Weems was on the field for 28 snaps and recorded one catch for nine yards. Weems' role is expected to grow with Hester out of the line up, and it's an opportunity Weems isn't taking for granted.

One man down, the next man has to step up. Devin is a great player, great athlete, great teammate, a great all-around everything,” said Weems. “Hopefully, he’ll be back in the middle of the week. But I just have to step it up a little bit more.”

Weems went to the Pro Bowl in 2010 as the return man for the Atlanta Falcons.

Tags: Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Chicago, Chicago Bears, Devin Hester, Eric Weems, Football, Minnesota Vikings, NFL

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