Dual Role for Davis?

Lake Forest - The Bears are considering brining in a veteran wide receiver to help add depth to a position recently hit hard by injury. Rookie Airese Currie could get a chance if he can prove he's healthy and ready to play. Some have even suggested playmakers on defense could contribute on the other side of the ball. Names like Azumah and Vasher come to mind, but Rashied Davis may be the most realistic option.

Jerry Azumah has been to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner. He's a former college running back that is as dangerous with the ball in his hands as any player on the roster. However, he's never played receiver and asking him to learn the offense in the middle of the season isn't going to happen. Especially coming off hip surgery, the less hits he's exposed to the better.

Nathan Vasher was an All-State receiver and cornerback in high school and has shown a knack for coming with the ball in his short NFL career. He has eight picks in 23 games and has averaged 25.5 yards per interception return.

A more plausible scenario would be to use Rashied Davis. He caught 100 balls for 1,420 yards and 30 touchdowns in the Arena League. The Bears decided to use the five-foot-10, 180-pounder as a cornerback when they signed him in June, but admits he misses his days of lining up on offense.

"That's my natural position. That's what I've played all my life," Davis said

The Bears have not talked to Davis to this point about playing receiver, but he started working with the scout team at the position last week.

Davis has been inactive the last three games. His versatility is appealing on game day considering he can contribute on special teams, cornerback and possibly as a wideout a few snaps per game.

"I feel like I'm capable of doing it all. I think I could handle it if it was ever presented to me," Davis said. "I think as a receiver I might be better than Dante Hall. Not as a kick returner, I wouldn't say that. I think I'm pretty good at receiver."

Still the likelihood of the Bears making such a move is unlikely.

"Rashied is a cornerback," said head coach Lovie Smith.

Davis proved he could do something the ball in his hands on the NFL level, as he averaged 13.5 yards punt return in the preseason.

Part of the reason is Davis has battled hand injuries since playing in the Arena League this spring. He played with a broken hand and then jammed his fingers in training camp. He had a hard time hanging onto the ball at times as a punt returner, which led to Bobby Wade eventually taking the job.

Although Davis still has to tape his hands for a game, he said it wouldn't impact him being able to come up with the ball.

"I don't feel anything during the game," he said. "Maybe after a play, but during the game I would never make an excuse for dropping a ball. It's part of the game, you've got to play through pain. When my adrenaline is pumping I don't have a problem with pain.

"Catching balls is more of a confidence thing. You know you're going to catch it. You may drop some balls because you're trying to make a play. I might drop a ball trying to make a move before I get the ball in my hands. But I had 100 catches last year so I don't drop many balls. I think I might have dropped 10 balls out of what was thrown to me.

"Nobody catches everything."


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