The final injury report of the last regular-season game is out, and it comes with a bummer at the top for Chicago’s football team.
Rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson has been ruled OUT with a right shoulder injury. And that’s a major blow for a Bears defense squaring off against Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. There was hope that Johnson could gut it out and suit up against the Packers in the regular-season finale. After all, Head Coach Matt Nagy previously said he didn’t believe Johnson’s injury was a season-ending one. But as it stands, it’s serious enough to keep him out for a third consecutive game.
Johnson suffered the injury in the second half of the Bears’ Week 14 win against the Texans. He has since been replaced in the lineup by fellow rookie Kindle Vildor, but Johnson’s presence has been missed. In 13 games, Johnson collected 44 total tackles, one tackle-for-loss, and 15 passes defended. And even though Johnson was without an interception, the 2020 second-round pick from Utah was an impact defender in the secondary.
As for the rest of the injury report:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) January 1, 2021
Joining Johnson in being out is fellow cornerback Buster Skrine. The Bears’ top slot corner will finish he regular season missing the final four games of the year because of a concussion. Head injuries are nothing to mess with. And there is no set timetable for a return from concussion protocol, it’s difficult to project when Skrine could step back on the field. Then again, he’s dealing with a concussion/head injury, so there are more important issues at hand.
Safeties Deon Bush (foot) and Tashaun Gipson Sr. (neck) are questionable to play. Gipson was a full participant all week, so I figure he’ll be good to go on Sunday. Bush was upgraded form not practicing to doing so with limitations. That’s a step in the right direction, to be sure. Tight ends Demetrius Harris (foot) and Cole Kmet (shoulder) are questionable. Both were limited in the last two practice, but were full participants in Wednesday’s walk-through. Do-it-all standout Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) practiced in full and is also questionable. Patterson didn’t play an offensive snap last week, so I imagine that will be the case again.
Perhaps the other important development on the injury report is having no game designation next to the names of Akiem Hicks, Charles Leno Jr., Roquan Smith, Allen Robinson II, and Khalil Mack. In other words, that collection of stars and standout players are all a full-go for Sunday. All hands on deck for the most important game of the year.