February 6, 2023

On Friday, the Chicago Bears positioned cornerbacks Jalon Johnson and Kindle Wildor on injured reserve, ending the season.

These strikes depart the Bears with out two of their prime three cornerbacks for the final three video games, with solely rookie Kyler Gordon remaining as an everyday starter.

The crew activated IR’s Khalil Herbert operating again, organising a comeback after a four-game absence on account of a hip harm on Saturday towards the Buffalo Payments at Soldier Subject.

In opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Johnson suffered a rib harm and a damaged bone in his left hand, over which he carried a baton throughout apply this week. Wildor had an ankle harm that stored him out of his final two video games.

On Thursday, the Bears referred to as Johnson a questionable participant, with coach Matt Eberfluth saying: “It is actually extra about his hand and whether or not he feels he can deal with it. We’re simply engaged on it.”

As an alternative, a 2020 second-round choose, one of many Bears’ prime younger defensemen, ends his season with 35 tackles, seven passes defended, one deal with for loss, a compelled fumble and a fumble restoration in 11 video games. Wildor, additionally in his third season, performed in 11 video games with 34 tackles, two tackles for loss, 5 assists defended and one interception.

Their absence can be one other blow to a minor Bears participant who had already misplaced veteran security Eddie Jackson to a left leg harm.

Final week, the Bears allowed Eagles broad receiver AJ Brown to throw 9 for 181 yards and DeVonte Smith to throw 5 for 126 yards. With out Johnson, they now should tackle Payments broad receiver Stephon Diggs, who ranks third within the NFL with 99 catches for 1,299 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“He is actually artful,” Johnson stated of Diggs. “He is a very good path runner. Along with his releases he creates a variety of division. He’s very dynamic in his run alongside the route. It additionally helps to have a quarterback (Josh Allen) who can throw the ball 1,000,000 yards. And their chemistry has been constructing and constructing since they have been there.”

Undrafted rookies Jaylon Jones and Josh Blackwell might have spent extra time on protection when Johnson and Wildor had been completed. The Bears additionally moved defensemen Harrison Hand and Breon Borders to the lively roster.

Jones has performed essentially the most defensive snaps in his final two video games and has 13 tackles. Blackwell, a key particular crew participant, performed 51 defensive snaps in Week 13 towards the Inexperienced Bay Packers and made 5 tackles.

Whereas Blackwell’s contribution to the protection was restricted, Particular Forces Coordinator Richard Hightower was ecstatic on Wednesday at what Blackwell gave to his items.

“The factor is, he is hungry and nonetheless needs extra,” Hightower stated. “To get a man like that the place we obtained him (a waiver) with out having to work with him within the offseason, I’m glad to work with him within the offseason. And albeit, I believe he must be within the dialogue for a Professional Bowl sort participant. They do not speak about it. It isn’t stated. However he performs on the Professional Bowl stage. Each coordinator comes as much as me and tells me how good a participant Josh Blackwell is and the place you discovered him.”


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