Chicago Bears wide receiver Javon Wims has had a rollercoaster of a third season. The former seventh-round draft pick out of Georgia was beginning to carve out a small role in Chicago’s offense, establishing himself as one of the best blocking receivers on the team. Things took a turn for Wims when the Bears played the New Orleans Saints Week 8.
Wims was ejected and suspended for two games by the league for punching Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who had been jawing at the Bears all game. It was the first and only time a player was ejected for throwing punches in the Matt Nagy era, and one assistant coach on the Bears’ staff still isn’t happy about it.
According to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Bears wide receivers coach Mike Furrey was asked about the amount of playing time Wims has been getting lately — and he responded with a brutally honest take.
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Furrey on Wims: ‘He’s Lucky to Be Here’
When Furrey was asked about Wims’ role on the offense and his playing time since he has returned from serving his suspension, Furrey did not mince words. “He’s lucky to be here,” Furrey said, noting he told Wims as much the day he returned from his suspension.
#Bears WR coach Mike Furrey doesn't hold back, saying Javon Wims is "lucky to be here" after getting suspended for fighting. Said he told Wims that the day he got back.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) December 28, 2020
“One of Javon’s strengths is his character, who he is as a person,” Nagy said about Wims after the incident, per Bears Wire. “He’s since apologized, but that’s not … You don’t have that. There’s no part of that in this game. … That’s not how we roll here.”
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Furrey Has Expressed Dissatisfaction With Wims Before
This is not the first time Furrey has publicly discussed his frustrations with Wims. The Bears receivers coach revealed after Wims punched Gardner-Johnson that he had made it a point to tell his unit not to respond to the chippy and trash-talking Saints defensive back — but Wims didn’t heed his advice, which Furrey called “disappointing:”
“I called Javon that night when I got home after the game and I told Javon, I said the most disappointing thing that occurred from that event was the fact that I just sat there on the bench prior to that play and told every single one of you, ‘Do not get involved with 22. Do not retaliate. Don’t put your hands on him. Don’t head-butt him. Get back in the huddle.’” Furrey said last month, via USA Today. “The way I handled that, the biggest thing was the communication to learn a lesson – that when someone’s trying to protect you from maybe ruining your career, you need to listen. It’s unfortunate that that situation happened, but I think it’s even more unfortunate and disappointing that we addressed it right before it happened. That was the most disappointing part about it.”
Wims just played 50 percent of the team’s snaps against a lowly Jacksonville Jaguars team, so he should have a role in Chicago’s offense for however long its season may last this year. Beyond that, however, if comments like Furrey’s are any indication, his outlook in the Windy City is not so good.