Even after Taylor Gabriel exits concussion protocol and returns to the starting lineup, Matt Nagy must find a way to keep Javon Wims on the field. The second-year WR did not dominate on Sunday. Far from it. And he certainly isn’t getting confused for Randy Moss anytime soon. But his performance against the Vikings stood out enough for him to be given a chance to help this offense escape their current rut.
His presence gives the team another big target, which could be help a quarterback who struggles keeping the ball down. Chase Daniel used Wims’ size multiple times in the game, most notably on a 37-yard lob that helped the Bears get out of the shadow of their own end zone. The pass ended up being under thrown, but Wims made a nice adjustment in the air to make it look like a back-shoulder throw. Daniel probably wouldn’t have thrown the pass if he didn’t think the receiver could win a jump ball.
Wims can adjust in the air. That we knew. But that played showed he can also get deep. He roasted Trae Waynes and it would’ve been a much bigger gain had the throw been on-target. That speed is new to Wims and something Prince Amukamara noted in the off-season:
“There was a play in OTAs where he ran past one of our DBs,” Amukamara said in the Sun-Times, “and I said, ‘Dude, Wims looks like he got faster.’ And then he did it to me. I said, ‘What is it?’ I guess he just got faster. I read Twitter. It seems like a lot of people want him to get in and start making plays — me, too. He looks great out there.”
Despite extremely limited playing time, Wims already has more catches than Anthony Miller and just three fewer than Gabriel – even though Turbo was on the field for 90% of offensive snaps over the first three games. Miller’s snaps have been overwhelmingly unproductive. Gabriel’s speed is an asset but he should be the third receiver on the team – exactly what he was for Atlanta when he helped them get to the Super Bowl.
And Trubisky seemed to develop a rapport with Wims at the tail-end of last season. Perhaps the biggest pro-Trubisky argument this off-season had to do with how he played against the Vikings in Week 17, a game in which Wims was one of his favorite targets. The passes that are slightly too tall for Gabriel will be perfect for Wims. Incompletions could turn into big plays.
Wims seems to make plays every time he touches the field. Time to keep him there.