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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Who is Bears' most underrated player?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Who do you think is the most underrated Bears player?
Jeff K.
Naperville, Illinois

I believe that DeAndre Houston-Carson is the most underrated player on the Bears roster. He's been a valuable special teams contributor since he arrived in 2016 as a sixth-round draft pick out of William & Mary, and he has also made impact plays when called upon on defense the past couple seasons. Last year he took advantage of an expanded role on defense, playing 419 snaps before missing the final five games with a fractured forearm and recording 47 tackles, one interception and four pass breakups. On special teams, Houston-Carson returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown against the Steelers. In 2020, he preserved wins in back-to-back games with big plays on defense. First, he broke up Tom Brady's fourth-down pass with :33 remaining to clinch a 20-19 Thursday night victory over the Buccaneers at Soldier Field. Ten days later, Houston-Carson registered his first career interception when he picked off Teddy Bridgewater with 1:28 to play to seal a 23-16 win over the Panthers in Carolina. I'm glad that the Bears re-signed "DHC" in March and expect him to continue to perform well on defense and special teams this season. By the way, I'd like to encourage all fans to vote for who they think is the Bears' most underrated player on the main page of ChicagoBears.com.

How has third-round pick Velus Jones Jr. looked on the practice field? I'm excited to watch him play this season.
Demontre K.
Joliet, Illinois

Rookie receiver Velus Jones Jr. has certainly looked like the player that the Bears described after they chose him in the draft out of Tennessee. He's an explosive playmaker who's built more like a running back than a receiver and is known for his ability to gain yards after the catch. During a media session at minicamp Tuesday, fellow receiver Darnell Mooney brought up Jones' name unprompted, telling reporters: "When he gets the ball, y'all are going to see. He can fly. He can be a playmaker for sure for us."

I heard Tom Thayer say on the Bears All-Access radio show that he thinks that Teven Jenkins could play right guard. Do you see the Bears giving him a chance to compete at that position?
Kevin P.
Iowa

First of all, no one knows more about the right guard position than Tom Thayer, who played exceptionally well in that spot for eight seasons with the Bears from 1985-92. In terms of whether the team will consider moving Teven Jenkins from tackle to guard, coach Matt Eberflus said Tuesday that "all combinations are open" and that the ultimate goal is to find the five best linemen. So, I wouldn't be surprised if Jenkins eventually gets some reps at guard in training camp and/or the preseason, especially if other players solidify starting jobs at tackle at some point.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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