Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Rome Odunze Could Be Tried As Punt Returner During Rookie Season

Rome Odunze
Rome Odunze

The Chicago Bears selected star wide receiver Rome Odunze as the ninth pick in this year’s draft, but the former Washington Huskies player may be deployed in a different position during his rookie season.

Chicago Bears Could Trial Rome Odunze As Punt Returner

The Bears were fortunate enough to have not one, but two picks in the first round at the 2024 draft and after selecting quarterback Caleb Williams as first pick, Chicago turned to Rome Odunze.

Odunze racked up 1640 receiving yards during the 2023 season as a wide receiver and Chicago primarily signed the Washington star as a future target for Caleb Williams, but Odunze may play another role in his rookie season.

It has been reported that Odunze could start the season as Chicago’s primary punt receiver, although special teams coordinator Richard Hightower was keen to not give too much information away ahead of the new season.

“Rome is an every-down player. Rome’s a first-down player, a second-down player, a third-down player and a fourth-down player,” Hightower said.

“He had three returns on the books and one of those three returns was a house call.”

That one house call for the Huskies was an 83-yard touchdown that had everyone’s jaw on the floor. See below for the punt return touchdown.

When asked if Odunze was expected to start as the Bears punt returner this season, Hightower continued: “I would never discuss that in the open. He’s in contention, just like everybody else. Best man will win, cream rises to the top.”

The main question isn’t regarding Odunze’s ability, but rather whether the rookie can stay fit in the position that is far more physically demanding than that of wide receiver.

With 13 touchdowns from 92 receptions in the 2023 season as well as a staggering 109.3 yards per game, Odunze is sure to be a future star of the NFL in whatever position he is played in.

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