We knew that without minicamp due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, injuries were going to be an unfortunate reality when all 32 NFL teams hit the field for training camp, and the Chicago Bears saw a prospective starter go down with a season-ending issue on Tuesday. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Bears cornerback Artie Burns tore his ACL during a practice session and will miss the entire 2020 season.
Burns signed with the Bears this offseason after four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers -- who selected him with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. In 58 career games, he has recorded 149 combined tackles, 27 passes defensed and four interceptions, but the Steelers decided to decline the fifth-year option on his contract last year, which allowed him to hit the open market this offseason.
While Kyle Fuller is a solidified starter at the cornerback position, Burns was expected to compete for the right to start opposite of him. He even opened up training camp with the starters, but now head coach Matt Nagy will have to turn his attention to other prospects. One player who could benefit from this unfortunate instance is Jaylon Johnson -- who the Bears selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
In three seasons at Utah, Johnson recorded 102 total tackles, 21 passes defensed and seven interceptions. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 in each of the last two seasons, and now has the opportunity to step up and play a major role on Chicago's defense in his rookie season. Johnson will have to earn the job, however, as Kevin Toliver and Buster Skrine are also vying for the starting role. The Bears had the No. 9 best passing defense in the NFL last season, as they allowed an average of 222.1 passing yards per game to opposing offenses.