Johnson ready for some pro football
Despite the uncertainty about how his rehabbed shoulder is coming along and the appearance that the Bears want to take it slow with him, rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson seems to be in contention for a starting job.
Johnson, a second-round pick from Utah, has impressed coach Matt Nagy enough for
Nagy to declare him NFLready.
“You can see the confidence that he has,” Nagy said. “You have to have short-term memory in this league. He’s got extreme confidence. And it’s not cocky; it’s confidence. I like that about him.
“He’s got a ways to go. He hasn’t played an NFL game. We’ll see. But in practice so far, I like where he’s at.”
The play that earned Nagy’s approval was an interception off Nick
Foles last week. Johnson played it perfectly, fooling Foles with veteran-like savvy before darting in for the pick.
“That play was all instincts,” Nagy said. “Foles asked afterward, ‘How did you know that play was coming?’ He said it was just instincts. Nick was surprised because he thought his defensive coaches were scouting the play, telling him to fall off and make that pick.”
Jenkins’ COVID scare
Defensive tackle John Jenkins was one of several players the Bears put on the reserve/COVID-19 list in July before practices began. Jenkins said Thursday it was tense at first, but eventually the team told him he had a false-positive test.
“All the stuff you hear, what’s going on in the news in today’s world, I don’t take that as a joke,” Jenkins said. “I take it very seriously. There were a lot of thoughts going through my mind.”
Jenkins, 31, never showed symptoms or had any setbacks as he ramped up for the start of practice. He is one of the top candidates to replace defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, who opted out of the season because of coronavirus concerns.
Several players, including pass rusher Robert Quinn, were not on the field during the portion of practice open to the media Thursday.
Nagy is adamant about not revealing any injury information this week, even though he will be required by the NFL to file a detailed injury report Wednesday, so it’s unclear why those players were absent.
Quinn is believed to have practiced in full only once since arriving at Halas Hall, and coaches have indicated he is on his own “ramp up” program to get ready for the season. The Bears also did not have cornerback Kevin Toliver, offensive tackle Jason Spriggs, linebacker Isaiah Irving and wide receiver Thomas Ives.
Burris joins staff
Onetime Bears quarterback Henry Burris will be on the coaching staff all season after proving himself during a training-camp stint. The team brought Burris in as part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program.
“He has a lot of good ideas,” Nagy said. “We have a lot of respect for who he is and his experience in football and in general, so we will bounce him around. We can put him on different projects and have him maybe look ahead and help us out with future teams.”
Burris, 45, played six games for the Bears in 2002. He played in the Canadian Football League from 1998 to 2016.
The Bears must slash their roster from 80 to 53 by Saturday afternoon.
They got a jump on that by waiving six players: running back Napoleon Maxwell, wide receivers Alex Wesley and Ahmad Wagner, offensive lineman Corey Levin, defensive lineman Lee Autry and linebacker Keandre Jones.
Bears coach Matt Nagy says rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson (33) is extremely confident but not cocky.