A day before the Bears are set to face the 11-3 Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field, Chicago was hit by another flurry of injuries. On Friday afternoon, the Bears announced cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Kindle Vildor have been placed on IR – ending their 2022 season.
Throughout the week of practice, Johnson was dealing with finger/ribs injuries while Vildor was dealing with an ankle injury.
Johnson exited the Week 15 matchup with the Eagles due to that rib injury. After the game, it was clear Johnson wasn’t in the best shape. Most of his fingers were taped up and he needed assistance taking off his shoulder pads and game pants.
(Something that was mentioned in the CHGO Bears Postgame show.)
Johnson ends his third season in the NFL with 35 tackles, seven passes defended, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 11 games played. According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson ended with a 65.2 coverage grade – the highest of his career.
Vildor ended his third season with 34 total tackles, five passes defended and one interception. According to PFF, Vildor also showed improvement in his coverage grade – ending with a career-high 58.8.
With Johnson and Vildor out for the remaining three games of the 2022 season, expect to see Jaylon Jones and Josh Blackwell to help fill the voids left by the two cornerbacks. The Bears also elevated defensive back Breon Borders from the practice squad to the active roster. Borders is in his fifth season in the NFL, and last played for the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans in 2021.
Going into the Week 16 matchup, the Bears already had a depleted wide receiving core. Chase Claypool is listed as doubtful with a knee injury while Equanimeous St. Brown is out due to a concussion. Also on the offensive line, Cody Whitehair (knee) and Teven Jenkins (neck) are doubtful to play against the Bills on Saturday.
The Chicago land area was just hit with a winter storm, with wind chills as low as -40, and now Bears were just hit with another series of injuries.