GREEN BAY, Wis. — Bears return man Jakeem Grant, who’s been pressed into action as a receiver the past few weeks, took a shovel pass from Justin Fields, running right to left, and ran 46 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter Sunday night at Lambeau FIeld.
Per NFL NextGen Stats, he ran 20.86 miles per hour at his fastest point during the touchdown. He then ran even faster. With 1:54 to play, he returned a punt 97 yards, catching the ball at the 3, probing right and then cutting back left and sprinting up the sideline. It was the first punt return for a touchdown by any player in the NFL all season.
It was also the longest punt return score by any Bears player — including Devin Hester — since 1960. One reason: few people catch punts at the 3.
“He’s done it a long time,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “I trust in Jakeem.”
Jakeem Grant reached a top speed of 21.33 mph on this 97-yard punt return TD, the fastest play by a #Bears ball-carrier this season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 13, 2021
Three of the Bears' five fastest plays by ball-carriers this season have come tonight in the 2nd quarter.#CHIvsGB | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/uUqLTfr3FG
Grant said he didn’t know what to do when he caught it — “Honestly, I had no plan at all,” — before finding running back Damien Williams and following his block.
“Once I got around the edge I was like, ‘Oh yeah, house call,’” Grant said. “‘It’s the punter and that’s it? OK. That’s easy.”