BOURBONNAIS -- A simple turn of events brought Rashied Davis back to the Bears.
"Somebody walked off the field, and if he didn't want his job, I guess I want it," Davis said.
That's how the veteran wide receiver wound up back with the Bears after a one-year hiatus spent in Detroit with the Lions.
For the previous six seasons, Davis was with the Bears and established himself as a stellar special teams player and reliable backup at wide receiver.
So, when wide receiver Devin Thomas decided on Sunday that he didn't want to play football anymore, the Bears moved quickly to bring back Davis. The San Jose State product had been an unsigned free agent in search of work in the NFL.
While the Bears moved Thomas to the reserve/left team list Monday, they offered Davis everything he desired, which wasn't much.
"An opportunity to play football," the 5-foot-9, 187-pounder said. "That's all I ever wanted. That's all I've ever asked for. Nothing has changed for me. It's no different than any time I was ever here. I was always expected to get cut, so I've always pushed to make teams and I'm going to have to do the same this year."
Davis never started a game of organized football until junior college. He didn't make it to the NFL until after he was named the San Jose Saber Cats offensive player of the year in his fourth year in the Arena Football League, just before joining the Bears as a defensive back.
But the versatile scrapper has 92 career receptions for 1,095 yards (11.9-yard average) and 5 touchdowns. He has returned 72 kickoff for 1,400 yards (19.4-yard average) and has 69 career special teams tackles. His 65 special teams tackles with the Bears rank fifth in team history.
Davis said he's glad to be back with so many friends, the same friends he battled as an opponent last season in the Lions' 37-13 loss to the Bears on Nov. 13.
"It was difficult," he said of that lopsided defeat. "And we just happened to get smacked around a little bit, so it was even more difficult."
Past and present teammate Lance Briggs reminded Davis that he was one of the participants in some chippy play in that game last season.
"I've been known to be a jerk on the football field," the usually affable Davis said, laughing. "I'm a different man on the football field, I guess."
But considering the no man's land he'd been living in, Davis' mood was sky high Monday afternoon.
"I never thought I'd be this excited to pull up to this ONU campus again," he said. "Being at home, you're working out and you've got two kids, you've got a wife. You've got people to support and you're trying to figure out, 'Well, is your career over? Are you still going to play?'
"I (was) trying to figure out what the next step in life was going to be."
Now he knows.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.