The Bears’ revolving kick-returning door did so again Tuesday, when the team added former Pro Bowl player Marc Mariani on a two-year contract and waived special teamer Ahmad Dixon.
The Montana alum returned kicks and punts for the Titans in 2010 and 2011, earning a Pro Bowl nod after the 2010 season. He totaled 73 punt returns for 819 yards and two touchdowns, and 92 kick returns for 2,278 yards and one score, during that time.
Mariani missed the 2012 and 2013 seasons with leg and shoulder injuries, and was cut by the Titans in August.
The Bears have been using Chris Williams to return kicks and punts since cutting punt returner Santonio Holmes last week. Williams returned a kickoff for a score against the Packers, but has been criticized for bringing the ball out of the end zone too frequently. If Mariani shakes off rust, he’ll challenge the former CFL star.
Dixon, a safety, was signed by the Bears in September off the Vikings’ practice squad. He played in five games, recovering a special teams fumble against the Jets, and battled a hamstring injury.