The Chicago Bears placed starting cornerback Kyler Gordon on injured reserve on Thursday with a hand injury, signing defensive back Greg Stroman off the practice squad to take his place on the roster.
Gordon will have to miss at least the next four weeks. The earliest that he can return will be in Week 6. That’s when the Bears will host the division rival Minnesota Vikings.
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Kyler Gordon Out, Greg Stroman In
The second-year man out of Washington was one of the few bright spots on the defense last season. And while the group was revamped this offseason, Gordon still remained one of its budding stars with his instincts, ball skills, and fearless aggression which sometimes got him into trouble as a rookie.
Gordon received the third-highest grade of any Bears corner in Week 1, per Pro Football Focus.
Last season, Gordon was the 15th-most targeted defender in the league, per Pro Football Reference, an honor that figured to go to rookie Tyrique Stevenson this season. Now, it figures to be former undrafted free agent Josh Blackwell until Gordon’s return.
Blackwell took 117 snaps at the position for the Bears last season. He finished the campaign with 23 tackles, one forced fumble, and one recovery.
Jaylon Jones is also a possibility after logging 45 snaps at nickelback in 2022. But opposing passers completed between 76% and 82% of their passes against Gordon last season, depending on the stats provider. But he was credited with being targeted at most twice in Week 1 versus the Green Bay Packers, allowing one catch for 16 yards.
Stroman, 27, is a fourth-year man out of Virginia Tech.
He has spent time with the Washington Commanders. Most of Stroman’s snaps have come on defense, not special teams, including last year with Chicago. That will make who plays where and how much something to watch in Week 2 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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Green Bay attacked the Bears linebackers more than they did the secondary.
That may shift now, though, with Gordon out and a largely unproven player stepping into his role for the next few weeks. Gordon did miss three weeks last season.
The Bears lost all three of those games but their 3-14 record makes it difficult to draw any conclusions. This season also got off to such a rocky start that it’s hard to see how this will play out for the Bears who are in need of a bounce-back performance after such a demoralizing loss in Week 1 to their arch nemesis.