Pettis only played three games last season, which is more like two games as he only appeared in one snap in that third contest.
Despite the limited action, Pettis did produce when he suited up.
Advanced Stat to Know: Pettis led all rookies in 2018 with an average of 7.9 yards after catch per reception. (PFF)
Best Game of 2021
Pettis’ best game last year came Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers where he caught five passes on five targets for 39 yards and a touchdown. He also completed one pass for 16 yards.
Can Dante Pettis get his career back on track in Chicago?
There was once high hope for Pettis when the San Francisco 49ers drafted him in the second round in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Coming out of Washington, Pettis was known for being a smooth route runner with natural hands and quickness to make defenders miss in space. He was never expected to become the 49ers’ WR1, but the expectation was for him to become a high-upside WR2.
Despite playing with three different quarterbacks his rookie season, he led the 49ers with five receiving touchdowns. That was good for the third-most among rookie wide receivers that season.
Pettis was dangerous with the football in his hands as evident by his YAC/REC in 2018.
He then suffered a Grade 2 MCL Sprain 12 games into his rookie season. It was at this moment that things changed for Pettis as he missed the rest of the year.
The 49ers drafted Deebo Samuel the following offseason. They also traded for Emmanuel Sanders. Pettis started getting less looks and his production took a major hit.
He only appeared in six more games for the 49ers over the next two years before San Francisco cut him in November 2020.
Once the Giants claimed him off waivers, Pettis got a bad case of COVID that affected his stamina and led to serious weight loss. It took over a month for Pettis to make his debut in New York.
As mentioned earlier, injuries took a toll once more last season as Pettis only played two full games.
Can things be different in Chicago?
That is the hope. There is no question that Pettis has talent. That was evident during his strong rookie season. It was evident during the two games he played for the Giants in 2020, where he averaged 19 yards per catch and hauled in 83% of passes thrown his way.
His potential was also apparent last year when he made 10 catches in two games and gave the Giants’ offense a much-needed spark.
Tyke Tolbert, the Bears’ wide receivers coach, worked with Pettis the last two seasons. So even though Pettis is new to the team, he does have more experience working with Tolbert than the other receivers on the roster. This connection could help Pettis establish himself with the Bears.
Pettis is a talented receiver that just needs to remain healthy to remind the league why he was drafted in the second round.
Chicago is a great spot for Pettis. The team is looking to pair quarterback Justin Fields with the best weapons they can find. If Pettis can put his past behind him and remain durable moving forward, he has every chance to make this team.
It’s safe to say the top three receivers in Chicago are Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr. Outside of that, it’s anybody’s game.
Pettis has an opportunity to make good on now his third chance in the league. If he remains healthy, there’s no reason why he can’t be an effective weapon for the Bears in 2022.
Prediction: Makes the team as a borderline WR4/5.
Stats: 15 Catches, 145 Yards, 2 TDs.
Get Chicago's Best Sports Content In Your Inbox!
Become a smarter Chicago sports fan with the latest game recaps, analysis and exclusive content from CHGO’s writers and podcasters!
Just drop your email below!