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One of the biggest storylines during the second week of Bears Organized Team Activities (OTAs) was cornerback Jaylon Johnson running with the second-team defense.
It certainly raised eyebrows, although head coach Matt Eberflus said it wasn’t anything to read into — that it had to do with Johnson’s conditioning more than anything.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t read into that right now,” Eberflus said. “He’s just getting back into action right now. So we’re just seeing where he is with his conditioning and those types of things. But 1s and 2s, we’re moving all guys around. We have a bunch of guys with the 1s, with the 2s, we have some 3s in there. But nothing to read into that at this time.”
Johnson appeared on The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday, where he was asked about starting off with the second-team defense during OTAs.
“I don’t see it as a problem,” Johnson said.
You’d imagine that the Bears would like to see what they have with the duo of Johnson and rookie Kyler Gordon on the outside. But Johnson didn’t sound too concerned about his starting job.
“I don’t want to say it didn’t bother me,” Johnson said. “But at the end of the day it’s not anything I’m going to give too much energy to. I know what I can do. And if I’m not mistaken they know what I can do as well.”
There’s no reason to believe Johnson won’t be CB1 when training camp — or regular season — kicks off. The Bears had a glaring hole at cornerback opposite Johnson that they addressed with the addition of Gordon in the NFL draft. You take Johnson out of the starting lineup, and that hole returns.
If anything, Johnson running with the second team appears to be Eberflus sending him a message — that everyone is going to have to earn their starting spot, which shouldn’t be a problem for Johnson.
The Bears return to the practice field next week for the final set of OTAs before veteran minicamp from June 14-16.