The Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys clashed at Soldier Field on Thursday night, and Pitt alum J.P. Holtz, who is now a tight end with the Bears, played a prominent role in his team’s 31-24 primetime victory, as he led the team in receiving yards and came up with one of the top plays of the game.
All told, Holtz was targeted by Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky on three occasions and came up with a reception each time. On those three catches, he amassed 56 yards, 30 of which came on one spectacular play that briefly made him the talk of the Windy City.
There's a semi truck on the field pic.twitter.com/BKFCE15z8w— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 6, 2019
Holtz’s big play came on a screen pass that Robert Quinn and several other members of the Cowboys defense bit on, leaving Holtz wide open. Trubisky then dumped the ball off to Holtz around the 42-yard line, and he rambled down the field to the Dallas 9-yard line for a net gain of 30 yards. The reception was the longest of Holtz’s NFL career, and the 56-yard night marked a personal best for the Pitt product.
Holtz entered the league in 2016 as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns and was signed to the team’s practice squad in 2016 and 2017. He had a similar stint with the Washington Redskins that lasted from 2018 to 2019. However, the Bears are the first team to give him a long look in the regular season, as Holtz has now played in 11 games with the team and made four starts. Prior to joining the Bears, Holtz appeared in just one NFL game during his time in Washington.