The hypothetical injury reports that come out in the days ahead of a Thursday Night Football Game being played after a Sunday game aren’t meant to be taken at full value. They are guesses, estimations, and projections of what an injury/practice report would’ve looked like had teams actually practiced.
But for the Chicago Bears, I see cornerback Jaylon Johnson as a full participant in the first walk-through and I can’t help but feel a little bit optimistic.
Before we dive too deep into Johnson’s situation, here’s what the week’s first hypothetical injury report looks like:
Seeing “FULL” next to Johnson’s name is encouraging (to say the least).
Johnson, the Bears’ top corner, has missed the team’s last three games due to a quad injury he suffered during practice before the team’s Week 3 win against the Texans. Johnson was doing some light workouts before yesterday’s game against the Vikings, but was ultimately on the list of game-day inactive players. The Bears could’ve used him defending Justin Jefferson. However, there was no point in rushing Johnson back into the lineup before he was ready. So, if sitting Johnson on Sunday was a price to pay to have him back at full strength on Thursday (and for the rest of the year) then I’d have to think the juice was worth the squeeze. As I learned in many history classes throughout the years, there is no shame in losing a battle if it means winning a war at the end.
We’ll continue to monitor Johnson’s status over the next few days. For what it’s worth, Patrick Finley (Sun-Times) reports Head Coach Matt Eberflus said he was “hopeful” Johnson would return for Thursday’s game against the Washington Commanders. Eberflus isn’t one to give up much in his media sessions. However, having a hint of optimism is enough for me to get on that bandwagon, too.