Unrestricted free agent wide receiver Eric Weems got off to a slow start, suffering a sprained ankle during training camp. But the 5-foot-9 Weems is starting to look like he could be one of the Bears’ biggest off-season additions.
Weems missed the preseason opener, but he flashed his overall talent in last Saturday’s second preseason game, catching 2 passes for 38 yards, returning 2 kickoffs for 71 yards and 1 punt for 14 yards. And that was on an ankle that he estimated is still only at about 80 percent.
And Weems will contribute heavily even in special teams phases that don’t show up in the box score, which is why special teams coordinator Dave Toub targeted him in the off-season.
“He’s going to be a four-phase player,” Toub said. “He’s going to be a starting gunner for us. He also will play on kick return, either he is going to be the kick returner or maybe on the front line or the off-returner, but we’re expecting him to play all four phases for us.”
Weems was a Pro Bowl special teams player for the Falcons in 2010, when he averaged career bests of 27.5 yards on kickoff returns and 12.8 yards on punt returns and had a team-best 16 tackles on coverage teams.