The Chicago Bears were without a key starter on defense at OTA’s which raises some questions
The Chicago Bears are back at Halas Hall for OTA practices this week as they get set for the next three or so weeks together. But with the team back this week, there were some absences from the roster including a big defensive starter.
Defensive back Jaylon Johnson was not present at Tuesday’s practice which was open to the media, drawing some questions about his status. Johnson did have a hand injury that forced him to miss games last season but his contract is also expiring at the end of this season. There have been rumors that the two sides are working on a deal but with Johnson not at OTA’s, it makes some wonder if it is related to the contract.
Head coach Matt Eberflus did note that these sessions are ‘voluntary’ and that Johnson, among others were cleared:
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus: "This is a voluntary time for all the players. Some players have certain things going on."
He did say that Jaylon Johnson is medically cleared to practice. Mooney and Jackson are still "progressing" from their injuries. https://t.co/cfoX9R0yZu
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) May 23, 2023
Johnson has been a starter at defensive back in all three seasons since being drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. However, with his contract expiring there have been some doubts as to if he would be back or not.
The Chicago Bears drafted defensive backs Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith in the 2023 NFL draft and did bring back guys like Kindle Vildor, Greg Stroman, Jaylon Jones and Josh Blackwell. They also drafted Kyler Gordon in the 2022 NFL draft.
Still, Johnson is considered a key part of this secondary at least for this year but the absence does raise questions….for now.
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