I can’t say I missed the weekly emotional roller-coaster that comes with each injury report. But I can’t front when I say the sense of anticipation while waiting for the return of a key player gives me a certain buzz. And I definitely felt it when I saw Chicago Bears receiver Velus Jones Jr. was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice.
Jones hasn’t been practicing recently due to a bothersome hamstring injury. The issue kept Jones out of the preseason finale and made him unavailable for each of the Bears’ first two regular-season games. A third-round pick in last April’s NFL Draft, Jones is expected to contribute as a receiver and return specialist. After watching this offense through two weeks, the Bears could use all the help they can get. And Jones’ speed could be a useful asset, even if he is just a rookie.
There was one practice prior to this one in which Jones was listed as being limited, but it quickly went back to DNP a day later. Hopefully, history doesn’t repeat itself when tomorrow’s injury report.
As for the rest of today’s injury report, here we go:
Oof. It’s tough seeing linebacker Roquan Smith missing another practice due to a hip injury. Consecutive absences puts some doubt in Smith’s availability for Week 3. Complicating matters is that Matt Adams — another starting linebacker — didn’t practice because of a hamstring injury. Adams wasn’t on Wednesday’s injury report, which makes today’s DNP that much more concerning. It’s not as if linebacker was a team strength in the first place.
Joining Adams as new on the injury report is cornerback Jaylon Johnson. The Bears list Johnson as limited due to a quad injury. That Wednesday’s injury report didn’t list Johnson hints at this being a new issue. Ideally, we’ll see news of Johnson bouncing back on tomorrow’s injury report. Nevertheless, seeing three defensive starters on the injury report makes me itchy.
In the end, Jones’ upgrade to limited is the best news to come from today’s injury report update. But I hope it isn’t the only positive development we get on the injury front this week.