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Chicago Bears 2022 player preview: Matthew Adams

Will DeWitt Avatar
June 7, 2022

Matthew Adams followed Bears coach Matt Eberflus from Indianapolis, as the fifth-year linebacker seeks to continue his career in Chicago after spending his first four seasons in Indianapolis.

Adams only has nine career starts under his belt, none since the 2019 season. Throughout his career, Adams has been a core special teams player — appearing on over 61 percent of special teams snaps every season.

In fact, he was named to Pro Football Focus’ 2021 NFL All-Pro Team as the league’s top special teams standout.

Matthew Adams’ 2021 Stats

GameGame TackTackTack
Year G GS Comb Solo Ast

Advanced Stat to Know: Adams had the NFL’s highest special teams PFF grade (91.1).

Best Game of 2021

Even though Adams’ box-score production was minimal with 10 total tackles on the season, one moment stands out above the rest when reflecting on his 2021 season.

In Week 15, Adams was able to make an impact play by blocking a punt from the New England Patriots. The ball rolled back into the end zone and the Colts capitalized by scoring a touchdown.

These sorts of plays on special teams can change the outcomes of games.

Biggest Question

Is Matthew Adams anything more than a special-teams ace?

If history is any indication, Adams won’t be seeing the field on defense much at all. He’s logged just one defensive snap since 2019.

However, let’s not forget that he knows this defense very well as he has been a part of it for years in Indianapolis. The Bears did mention that the Sam linebacker won’t see the field a ton. Perhaps Adams’ knowledge and experience in this defense will propel him toward earning that spot.

2022 Outlook

Eberflus and the Bears brought in Adams knowing just how impactful he can be in the third phase. He’s one of the best special teams players in the NFL. He provides value and extensive experience on kick return, kick coverage, punt return, punt coverage and field goal block units.

The expectation is that Adams will make the team being this jack-of-all-trades in the third phase with an outside chance at earning the Sam linebacker position.

Prediction: Backup Linebacker and Special Teams stand out.

Stats: 12 Total Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble.

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