Third-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson is one of the three building blocks the Bears have on their roster. Tuesday, though, he was running with the second-team defense.
“I wouldn’t read into that right now,” coach Matt Eberflus said after OTA practice. “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.”
Johnson playing with second-stringers sounds like it’s more about short-term motivation than any threat to his starting job.
Johnson did not practice during the team’s voluntary minicamp last month. When asked about Johnson a week ago, Eberflus seemed to reference as much, saying he wanted to see him up-close first.
The coach watched him during OTAs the past week.
“I like what I see,” he said Tuesday. “I mean, he’s moving around really good. His change of direction is nice. He’s got really good hands. As you know, he’s got good size. So now just really looking at his coverage ability —and it’s in a good spot. …
“So we’re just working with him, and, again, trying assess his skills. And we’ll coach him as we go.”
Defensive backs coach James Rowe said Johnson has “no doubt” met the standard the Bears demand in practices.
“I think he is on a good path right now, you know,” he said. “The thing that I probably like most about him…