Change in the Return Game

Posted Sep 21, 2004

Lake Forest - The kickoff return game has struggled to find a solution since Jerry Azumah went down with a herniated disk. By default Daryl Jones won the job out of training camp, but after two disappointing weeks has been released.

Jones averaged just18.7 yards on six kickoff returns, which is a far cry from the 29.0 yards the team averaged with Azumah handling the duties. The Bears now have just four wideouts on the 53-man roster.

For the time being Bernard Berrian looks like he’ll return kicks and punts against the Minnesota Vikings.

Berrian had one kick return against Green Bay for 23 yards. He gained 12 yards on his only punt return of the year.

The rookie from Fresno State had split time with R.W. McQuarters at punt returns. However with the secondary decimated with injuries there is no way the coaching staff can justify leaving McQuarters in the return game.

With the spot created by Jones’ release, the Bears elevated defensive end Shurron Pierson to the active roster from the practice squad.

Pierson spent the first two games of the season on Chicago’s practice squad and is a veteran of six NFL games with Oakland last season. The Bears originally acquired the 6-2, 250-pounder on Aug. 30, 2004 in a trade with the Raiders for a conditional draft pick.

The Bears now have ten defensive linemen (five ends and five tackles) on the 53-man roster. That is an unusually high number to carry, which means Alfonso Boone’s sprained knee could be more serious than first expected.

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WR Bernard Berrian (profile)
WR Daryl Jones (profile)
DE Shurron Pierson (profile)
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