Bears add receiver/return specialist

The Chicago Bears signed wide receiver Nate Jacquet to a one-year contract Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jacquet, a 6-0, 185-pound return specialist out of San Diego State, is a five-year NFL veteran who spent the 2001 season with the Minnesota Vikings. He returned punts and kicks for the Vikings last year returning 46 kicks for an average of 22.0 yards per return with a long of 53 and returned 29 punts, averaging 7.6 ypr with a long of 23.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo said Jacquet was signed to add depth at receiver, but mostly for return purposes.

Either way Jacquet is happy to have another shot in the NFL.

"Actually I was waiting around for a call and I was fortunate and blessed enough that Chicago gave me a chance, a good opportunity," Jacquet said. "Now it's my turn to show what I've got.

"I'm starting fresh, a new team. I feel that I ma y have a chance or opportunity to compete with a lot of the guys here. I feel confident in myself that I can do that here."

Originally a fifth-round selection by Indianapolis in the 1997 draft, he spent the first nine games of the season on the Colts practice squad before signing to the active roster for the final seven games of the season, setting a team rookie record for single-game kickoff returns with an 18.4 ypr average on seven kickoffs against the Vikings.

Jacquet, who switched to wide receiver from cornerback his senior season at SDSU, played for two seasons in Miami (1998 and 1999) where he saw his first action on offense, catching 10 passes for 146 yards (including 1998 playoffs).

He played for San Diego in 2000 and was used primarily as a kick returner but was released prior to the end of the season and signed by the Vikings and played for Minnesota in the season finale.

"We've liked Nate in the past," said Bears head coach Dick Jauron. "Primarily we've seen him as a return guy. He's got speed, he's got good hands and he's a hard worker. We've always felt he was a tough guy and that's what we're looking for."

Injury front: Jim Miller and Keith Traylor both returned to practice after receiving an extra day of rest Monday.

However, Reggie Austin was held out because he is still suffering the effects from a hamstring pull. Jauron said Austin will have an MRI done to see if there is anything else wrong.

Rosevelt Williams left practice Monday with a sprained ankle and didn't participate Tuesday. Jauron said initially the injury wasn't considered to long-term, but the team doctors need to reexamine the rookie before he is cleared to return to practice.

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