The Chicago Bears last summer elected to let Rashied Davis, who played for the club from 2005-2010, leave in free agency. Davis was a core member of the club's special teams, yet the coaching staff chose to go with a bigger, faster player in Sam Hurd.
To replace Hurd this past offseason, the team signed Devin Thomas, another accomplished special teams player. When Thomas unexpectedly announced his retirement yesterday, the Bears were again left with a hole on the roster.
WR Rashied Davis
To fill that gap, they turned to a familiar face, signing Davis to a one-year deal worth a reported $825,000, the veteran minimum. His single-season high in catches is 35, and he's caught just 18 total passes the past three years combined, so don't expect him to be a weapon on offense. His value will come on special teams.
Davis' 65 special teams tackles over six seasons in Chicago rank fifth in Bears history. He was limited to 11 games with the Lions last season due to a stress fracture in his foot, from which he's fully recovered.
The return of Davis is not good news for Dane Sanzenbacher, who appeared to have the lead on Chicago's sixth receiver spot. That's assuming they keep six, which they did last season. Sanzenbacher doesn't have a lot of use on special teams – he's been returning punts with the backups so far in training camp – so he'll need to be phenomenal on offense to beat out Davis for a spot on the final 53-man roster.
Davis will participate in his first practice tomorrow at 2 p.m.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.