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Chalk Talk


Chalk Talk: Can Patterson return punts?

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

With the Bears having to replace Tarik Cohen on punt returns, I was wondering if that's something that Cordarrelle Patterson could do. He's obviously one of the best kickoff returners in NFL history and therefore, to me, would be a logical option to also return punts. Your thoughts?
Paul G.
Newark, New Jersey

Cordarrelle Patterson is a three-time All-Pro kickoff returner, but he has only returned one punt in his eight-year NFL career and that came in 2016 when he was with the Vikings. With Tarik Cohen out for the season with a torn ACL, Patterson was asked by a reporter this week if he wanted to return punts. Here's what he said: "I don't return punts. That's not what I've been doing. Like I told coach Tabes (Chris Tabor), 'If you need me to go out there and try to catch a punt, I'll do it to my best ability.' [But] that's not something I've been doing in my career." Anthony Miller, who's listed as the second-string punt returner on the Bears' depth chart, replaced Cohen last Sunday against the Falcons, fair-catching a punt in the fourth quarter. But coach Matt Nagy declined to say who would fill that role Sunday when the Bears host the Colts, saying Friday: "We have a good idea who it's going to be, but just out of pure respect and gamesmanship, I'm not going to get into who it is right now."

With Nick Foles being named the starting quarterback, is there a chance Matt Nagy would use Mitchell Trubisky in a role similar to Taysom Hill of the Saints? I feel this would utilize Trubisky's athleticism and speed.
Damian K.
Steele, North Dakota

Taysom Hill may be the most unique player in the NFL, given his ability to play quarterback and receiver and contribute on special teams as both a gunner and someone who has blocked multiple punts. While Mitchell Trubisky is athletic like you mentioned, I would be surprised if the Bears tried to utilize him like Hill. I would expect Trubisky to serve as Nick Foles' backup and be ready to enter the game at quarterback if needed. As the No. 2 quarterback, he's one play away from being back on the field. Hill, on the other hand, can focus more on his multi-dimensional role because the Saints have Jameis Winston as their backup quarterback behind Drew Brees.

How have the Bears fared against the Colts recently?
Archit P.
Lake Villa, Illinois

The Bears trail the all-time series 24-19, but they've won six of the last nine. The Bears lost the last meeting 29-23 in 2016 in Indianapolis despite Brian Hoyer passing for a career-high 322 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears won the last game against the Colts in Chicago 41-21 in the 2012 season opener at Soldier Field as Jay Cutler rebounded from an early pick-six to throw for 333 yards and two TDs.

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

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