Fourth-year Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson is heading into the final year of his contract after missing the final three weeks of last season with a broken ring finger.
He also missed three games earlier in the season with a quad injury.
Jaylon Johnson Updates Status of Broken Finger
“100%, fully back,” Johnson told ABC 30 sports anchor Alec Nolan in a feature highlighting the charity the Bears corner started in honor of his late best friend, Kevvion Schrubb, who was shot and killed nearly two years ago. “I’m ready to go.”
Johnson finished the campaign without an interception but deflected seven passes, forced one fumble, and recovered one as well. Johnson also held his assignments below a 60% catch rate in his coverage for the third straight season.
He was the only Bear out of 41 defenders to see at least 50 targets and hold opposing quarterbacks below a 60% completion rate while also starting at least 10 games last season.
The former second-round pick (No. 50 overall) had the second-highest Pro Football Focus grade among the Bears’ secondary.
Only safety Eddie Jackson – who missed the final five weeks of the season after suffering a Lisfranc injury against the New York Jets in Week 12 – was better. Jackson also appears to be on track to return and is still one of the top playmakers when healthy.
Eddie Jackson is a ballhawk 🙌 @BoJack4
📺: #CHIvsNYG on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/6YoRNVzkae pic.twitter.com/WAbx9lMm6j
— NFL (@NFL) October 2, 2022
Jackson recorded four interceptions last season, his most since his All-Pro 2018 season and the second-highest total of his career. The 29-year-old former fourth-round pick (No. 112 overall in 2017) also deflected six passes and forced two fumbles.
They make up 2/5 (considering most teams play a lot of nickel) of a re-tooled secondary that adds rookie Tyrique Stevenson to second-year defensive backs, Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon.
The Bears hope to be much improved over last season when they ranked 32nd in net yards per attempt last season.
Jaylon Johnson: Raiders’ Davante Adams the ‘Toughest Cover’
While he doesn’t have to face him twice a year anymore, Johnson still calls Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams the “toughest matchup” he’s faced.
Adams spent the first eight years of his career with the Bears’ most-hated rival, the Green Bay Packers. In 16 career games versus the Bears while a member of the Packers, Adams posted 1024 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 81 grabs, per Stathead, while helping guide them to a 14-2 record.
The Davante Adams-Jaylon Johnson matchup was really good.
And we saw some adjustments from GB vs. man-coverage. Slot reps for Adams + play-action.
Hide Boot here. Run away from coverage — and force Johnson to work over the traffic. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/gmFZ1JamXW
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) December 13, 2021
Last season for the Raiders, Adams posted his second consecutive season with over 1500 yards on 100 grabs while leading the league with 14 receiving touchdowns.
It is the second time in three years he’s led the NFL in receiving scores.
Adams’ trade last offseason was a precursor to Aaron Rodgers’ departure via trade to the New York Jets, and the hope is a shift in the balance of power in the NFC North that has seen the Packers on top more often than not.
The Detroit Lions look to be formidable and the Minnesota Vikings compete every season. But the Bears have been on the wrong side of the NFL’s oldest rivalry for too long.
THE CHICAGO BEARS PODCAST@LanceBriggs tells @PatTheDesigner that he is HYPED for week 1 @ChicagoBears vs @packers
Follow the 5 DAYS A WEEK show on the ESPN Chicago App
Android: https://t.co/nhXkmZPVL2 pic.twitter.com/hi0h3DC429
— ESPN 1000 (@ESPN1000) May 15, 2023
Adams and the Raiders will travel to Soldier Field in Week 7.
Jaylon Johnson All About Giving Back
Johnson opened up about the mission of his non-profit which he says he hopes to bring to Chicago.
“I’m always home so it doesn’t feel different for me. It’s just where I’m supposed to be at. My family’s here, [the] community’s here, so I’m here. … Just helping and empowering families…We just want to be able to help the kids and the families. … I’m not on this Earth to just play football.”
The Bears kick off the 2023 season with a home date against Adams’ former team in the start of a new era for Green Bay with quarterback Jordan Love under center.
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