Bears CB Jaylon Johnson welcomes challenge of facing 49ers WR Deebo Samuel

·2 min read

When the Bears open the regular season against the 49ers, Chicago’s defense will have to contend with some San Francisco playmakers. That includes one of the NFL’s biggest names in wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

Samuel is fresh off a contract extension (three years, $58.1 million guaranteed) after a 2021 season where he caught 77 passes for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 365 yards and eight touchdowns.

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson will have to contend with Samuel on Sunday, and he knows it’ll go a long way as Johnson looks to establish himself as a top cornerback in the NFL. When asked if there was extra motivation to face someone like Samuel, Johnson didn’t hold back.

“Oh, 100 percent,” Johnson said Monday, via NBC Sports Chicago. “I mean, he just got paid. Everybody looks at him as that top five. So, I mean I feel like people look at me as that top guy. So, to go against him and then showcase what I can do is another step in the right direction for me.”

In last year’s matchup, Samuel burned Chicago will his speed and playmaking ability, where he caught six passes for 171 yards in the 49ers’ 33-22 victory. Johnson knows the Bears defense must do their best to contain Samuel if they hope to win.

“I would just say after the catch. I feel like a lot of his stuff is YAC yards,” Johnson said. “With his being turning into a running back after he catches the ball. We all know what he can do after he catches the ball, but I mean definitely a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands.”

We’ll see how Chicago’s new-look defense — including Johnson — will contend with Samuel in Sunday’s opener.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire