Rookies with swagger are the most fun to watch, and Bears rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson certainly has some. When asked about going up against a Julio Jones led Falcons passing attack, Johnson didn’t blink.
“No, not since I’ve gotten to the NFL,” Johnson said, coming off as confident and unbothered when asked if he’d be worried about how how he’ll measure up against an elite group of pass-catchers. “I did as a kid in high school and maybe college, but at the end of the day, he bleeds the same way I bleed. So I’m just going to go out there and compete. I mean, he’s the best. And I consider myself one of the best. So we’ve just got to match up.”
Johnson has earned PFF’s second best grade among rookie defenders (80.3). Through two weeks, Johnson has four forced incompletions as he frustrated opposing receivers and quarterbacks alike. Speaking of quarterbacks, Daniel Jones and Matthew Stafford posted a 33 percent forced incompletion rate while targeting Johnson in coverage. Not bad for the seventh cornerback taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The only thing left is to see if Johnson will get a chance to match up against Jones.
Falcons team reporter Kelsey Conway tweets team Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter said he believes there’s more to Jones’ hamstring injury than he is leading on. The Cowboys limited Jones to four targets, two catches, and 24 yards in Atlanta’s 40-39 loss to the Cowboys. Jones also dropped a 42-yard touchdown on a gadget play. Jones didn’t look right in Sunday’s game. And it’s possible a troublesome hamstring injury could be the culprit. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.
The Falcons are deep at receiver without Jones, so the drop-off isn’t steep. But a player of Jones’ talents being limited could tilt things toward the Bears’ favor in Week 3.