The Chicago Bears’ secondary was already in for a fight against the likes of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. And unfortunately, when they go into battle tomorrow, they’ll do so without one of their best cornerbacks, Jayon Johnson:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 19, 2020
Chicago has downgraded rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Deon Bush from questionable to out for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Johnson didn’t practice all week while nursing a shoulder injury that happened in last week’s win against the Texans. Neither did Bush. Maybe it was gamesmanship that led Chicago’s staff to list them as questionable. Nevertheless, Johnson’s injury history with that injured shoulder combined with a new issue counts as reason enough to proceed with caution this week.
In his place, expect Kindle Vildor to handle the outside corner spot. Vildor played 14 snaps in relief of Johnson last week, but the challenge figures to be tougher in Minnesota than it was against Houston. And to fill Johnson’s roster space for the week, the Bears are promoting Xavier Crawford from the practice squad.
Crawford, 25, was a sixth-round pick by the Texans in 2019 and has five games of professional experience under his belt. However, Crawford is far more experienced on special teams (34 career snaps) than he is on defense (7).
There’s never a “good” time to lose a starting cornerback. But with the Bears already being down slot corner Buster Skrine, losing Johnson before kickoff stings.