Jaylon Jones played his first defensive snaps in the regular season during the Week 3 victory over the Houston Texans.
The undrafted cornerback out of Ole Miss played 32 snaps in place of Jaylon Johnson, who missed the game with a quad injury. And the first time Jones’ number was announced over the PA system at Soldier Field was for a defensive holding call in the second quarter on third down, which gave Houston a fresh set of downs.
That mistake didn’t amount to any points for the Texans, but it was a learning moment for the young cornerback.
“I think I did alright. I’m a guy that is really hard on myself,” Jones said. “I think I could have been a little better technique wise, but not much was thrown my way. I didn’t get any targets. I didn’t show much on film. That’s just me holding myself high, so I feel like I could’ve did a little better.”
With Johnson out for a second-straight game due to the quad injury, Jones will get another opportunity to showcase what he is capable of on Sunday against the Giants.
“It means everything,” Jones said on getting another opportunity. “Just showing the coaches and the players on this team that they can trust me, just trying to do my job.”
Bears coach Matt Eberflus overall liked what he saw from Jones in his first game on defense, but he just wants to see him continue to work on one area of his game moving forward.
“Yeah, just more consistency,” Eberflus said. “We thought he had some really good snaps, really good coverage snaps. We thought he did a really good job in the run game keeping the big cup. That was a big issues that’s always for the corners. I thought he did a nice job with that and just more consistency really from him, but he had a good week of practice.”
To ensure Jones is in the best position to succeed in this Week 4 matchup, Johnson and Eddie Jackson have been helping Jones go through film and sharing any tips on things they saw with the 24-year-old corner.
Along with getting tips from the veterans in the secondary, being on the same page with his fellow rookies will be key. Like in Week 3, Jones will be a part of a secondary that has three rookies starting in Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker.
Gordon said after the victory over the Texans that “communication” was something he wanted to continue working on with fellow teammates. Jones feels like that is one of the strengths the two corners have with each other.
“The communication has been good ever since we got here since rookie minicamp,” Jones said. “We’ve all been real tight so I think that makes the communication way easier. With us out there, I think the communication is even more high because we know that we’re rookies, so we just want to show these coaches that they can trust us. So, we’re over communicating if anything, trying to.”
The next test for Jones and this young secondary is a Giants offense that currently has three wide receivers active.
If you thought the #Bears were hurting at the wide receiver position, take a look at what the #Giants have right now. Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) didn't practice today and they are not expected to play on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/1C4rgJg7vu— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) September 30, 2022
Although the Giants’ passing targets aren’t the best by any means, Jones is still anticipating throws to come his way throughout the game, which is fine by him.
“I think I’m always, I go into every game thinking I’m going to get targeted and that’s just another opportunity to prove what I can do in this league,” Jones said. “I’m definitely going to be ready. Whatever happens, happens.”