LAKE FOREST – He’s one of those guys recognized by the die hards for his contributions to the team when it comes to the special teams.
DeAndre Houston-Carson has been making plays on the kickoff and punt teams since he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. His performances have helped him to stay on the roster ever since, either active or practice, as he’s played in 54 games in four-and-a-half years.
In 2019, Houston-Carson played in all 16 games for the first time, and now he’s making the most of his opportunities on the defense in 2020.
In the last two Bears’ victories, the safety has come up with the game-clinching plays for a pair of strong performances by the defense. This past Sunday against the Panthers, Houston-Carson came up with his first career interception on a throw from Teddy Bridgewater to seal a 23-16 win over Carolina.
On the Thursday before, the safety broke up Tom Brady’s fourth down pass at Soldier Field to seal a 20-19 Bears’ win over the Bucs. They are arguably the two biggest plays of Houston-Carson’s career and have helped the Bears to a 5-1 start to the season.
For a primarily special teams player, it’s been quite a few weeks for the safety.
“I’ve been a part of some really good defenses since I’ve been here; great, high caliber defenses. So it’s been good when I got my opportunity,” said Houston-Carson. “I got that opportunity to step in and uphold that standard, and I hope to continue that.”
He’s certainly getting more chances to show his stuff on defense than he did even a year ago. So far this season he’s been in for 22 snaps on defense, which is 19 more than he had the entire 2019 season. From 2016-2019, he’s had 71 total defensive snaps with a high of 46 coming in the 2018.
“Whatever role I’m in, I want to be the best at it, that I can be,” said Houston-Carson. “Whether it’s special teams or whatever it is, I just want to be the best football player I can be. I don’t regret anything so far in my career, and I’m hoping as it continues to progress I can keep trying to get better every day and stay consistent.
“Hopefully things go my way.”
They certainly have the last two games, especially when the Bears’ needed him the most.