Bears won’t turn to Cordarrelle Patterson to return punts

Patterson, who has returned one punt in his career — for nine yards in 2015 as a member of the Vikings — was clear that he’d help if needed. But he said, “I don’t return punts, man.”

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Cordarrelle Patterson is tackled by the Chiefs last year.

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Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the great kick returners of all time. But there’s something he’s not.

“I don’t return punts, man,” he said Thursday. “That’s not what I’ve been doing.”

Patterson, who has returned one punt in his career — for 9 yards in 2015 as a member of the Vikings — was clear that he’d help if needed. The Bears, though, figure to turn to Anthony Miller, who took Tarik Cohen’s place in the fourth quarter after he tore his knee Sunday.

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor stressed that the most important qualification is to make sure the ball is secured — whether it’s on a fair catch or a return. While Tabor wouldn’t speculate on other candidates, receiver Ted Ginn has punt return experience.

The Bears think Eddie Jackson could be a star punt returner there, but they don’t want to risk injury to their Pro Bowl safety.

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