Before becoming New York Giants head coach, Joe Judge was a special teams coach for the New England Patriots. He knows what the Giants kick coverage teams will face on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
“They have two elite returners,” Judge said. “[Tarik] Cohen back there on punt returns, everybody is at the point of attack every time this guy gets the ball. He’s dynamic, he’s explosive, he can make a home run play on any play. [Cordarelle] Patterson is one of the best to ever play the game as a kick returner. Simply put, this guy is someone that you’ll read about in history books. When you play against this guy, everybody on the field better be aware of where he’s at, whether that’s offense or on special teams.”
Patterson, a 2013 first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings as a wide receiver, has never really found a full-time home on offense as either a receiver or a running back. As a kickoff returner, though, Patterson has been elite throughout his career.
Patterson has averaged 30.0 yards on 207 kickoff returns in his career, scoring 7 touchdowns. The 29-year-old had a 45-yard kickoff return last week against the Detroit Lions and averaged 36.7 yards on three returns.
Cohen, a fourth-year running back, has averaged 10.0 yards per punt return over his career. He was an All-Pro in 2018 when he averaged 12.5 yards on 33 returns.
The Giants will be without punt gunner Adrian Colbert, who has been ruled out with a quad injury.