When Jakeem Grant Sr. left Halas Hall with the rest of the Dolphins after two joint practices with the Bears in August, he didn't expect to return anytime soon.
But the veteran receiver/return specialist is back in the building this week, having been acquired by the Bears in a trade with the Dolphins on Tuesday. Grant, who was named second-team All-Pro as a punt returner last season, conceded that he was a little surprised to be dealt by Miami.
"Coming off the year I had last year, I was thinking under no uncertainty that I would have a bigger role increase and I was one of their key guys," Grant said Thursday at Halas Hall. "But it's a business of the game. I mean, I'm not mad. I'm not anything, just ready to go.
"I've seen guys come and go. Didn't think I was going to be going, but hey, it is what it is. I'm ready to roll. That's behind me now and I'm ready to do whatever I can do to help the Bears."
Grant was selected by the Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2016 draft out of Texas Tech. He has appeared in 70 games in six seasons, averaging 9.7 yards with three touchdowns on 101 punt returns and 24.8 yards with two TDs on 89 kickoff returns. Grant has also caught 91 passes for 1,001 yards and five TDs.
Nsimba Webster, who handled punt returns in the Bears' first four games, was waived Tuesday and re-signed to the practice squad Thursday.
Viva Las Vegas: As a member of the Dolphins, Grant played in two games against the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, a 26-25 win last Dec. 20 and a 31-28 overtime loss two weeks ago in front of a raucous crowd of nearly 60,000 fans.
"It's a nice stadium," Grant said. "Fast grass. Lights could definitely be an issue. Very bright lights. It's closed, indoors, so it's loud, so communication is definitely going to be a big key. Other than that, football is football. Every stadium has their niches and stuff. But we'll go out there and execute the game plan, and we're going to be great."
Calm and poised: Rookie quarterback Justin Fields has impressed teammates with his maturity and demeanor.
"That's the great thing about Justin is that all throughout this process," said center Sam Mustipher, "as long as I've known him since May, the preparation he's had, the way he comes in the building every day, he's prepared to be the starter. I know he spoke to [reporters] about taking extra reps after practice, going through the entire practice script. He's been doing that since training camp in the beginning of the season. His preparation hasn't changed, and that's a credit to him."
"He's been really calm and poised out there," added tight end Cole Kmet. "He's just kind of the same guy no matter what's happening. It was interesting to see him in Cleveland [during a disappointing loss]. The way he was acting in the huddle and the way he was acting in the huddle last weekend [versus the Lions], it's similar, it's the same. It's really calming for all the other guys out there as well."
Injury update: There were no changes on the injury report from Wednesday to Thursday. For the second straight day, running back David Montgomery (knee), tight ends Jesse James (personal) and J.P. Holtz (quad), defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (groin) and outside linebacker Khalil Mack (ribs/foot) did not practice. Receiver Darnell Mooney (groin) was once again limited.
While coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday that Montgomery would "miss some time" with a sprained knee that forced him to leave last Sunday's win over the Lions, backup Damien Williams was a full participant in practice despite a quad injury he sustained versus Detroit.
With the Bears generating two red-zone takeaways in Sunday's win over the Lions, senior writer Larry Mayer ranks the team's top 10 red-zone takeaways since 2001.