The Chicago Bears have some question marks on defense with the new injury report
Reports came out Wednesday that Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was not practicing with a hip injury. Smith is the leader of the Bears’ defense, and an injury to the All-Pro linebacker would be a significant blow to the team. Smith’s backup is undrafted free agent Jack Sanborn, who won over the hearts of Bears fans for his excellent play against opponent’s backups in the preseason.
The Bears’ latest injury report shows that Smith did not participate in Thursday’s practice either. He wasn’t the only linebacker on the list Thursday. Matthew Adams was added to the list as well with a hamstring injury.
The Bears’ defense, already struggling against the run, will have more problems if Adams and Smith cannot go Sunday. Sterling Weatherford might be the replacement for Adams.
Four Chicago Bears players DNP Thursday
The Chicago Bears had four players not participating in practice Thursday, with Dane Cruikshank and Ryan Griffin joining Adams and Smith. Griffin’s injury is concerning for the offense, as he’s the Bears’ most productive tight end on the season through two weeks. His one catch for 18 yards leads all Bears tight ends, including Cole Kmet. Griffin has also been more efficient as a pass-and-run blocker than Kmet, according to PFF. (Kmet’s grade was hurt by the hit on quarterback Justin Fields he gave up.)
Cornerback Jaylon Johnson was a new name added to the list Thursday. He was limited in practice Thursday with a quad injury. Johnson is a vital part of the Bears’ secondary, as he has not yet been targeted while in coverage this season. Johnson’s status on Friday’s injury report will be something to monitor.
The Bears did get good news about rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. Jones was seen practicing Thursday. It’s not immediately clear if he will be cleared to play the Texans in Week 3. The 25-year-old rookie has yet to play for the Bears in the regular season.
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