Bears’ Jaylon Johnson Sounds Off After Loss: ‘I’m Tired of That S***’

Johnson Sounds Off Week 2

Getty Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson.

Jaylon Johnson is now two games into his fourth season with the Chicago Bears and has already been forced to endure 35 losses over his career. At this point, he is tired of the same old “letdowns” and conversations after losing games.

So, when Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic talked to Johnson at his locker following the Bears’ latest loss — 27-17 on the road to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Chicago’s No. 1 cornerback had no problem getting candid about whether those losses weigh on him as one of the defensive leaders of the team.

“Hell yeah,” Johnson said Sunday. “That’s what I think about consistently. I’ve been here for a good minute now. Going through the same things, the same letdowns, the same … postgame speeches. For me as a competitor, I’m tired of that shit.”

The Bears have now lost 12 consecutive games dating back to October 24, 2022, when they last won a game and beat the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. During that grueling losing streak, the defense has allowed at least 25 points to be scored in each of the losses with the pattern holding through the first games of 2023.

Now, in fairness, the Bears defense did seem to figure a few things out after halftime against the Buccaneers and only surrendered seven points in the second half. But the 20 points they allowed in the first half proved too large of a deficit for their stunted offense to overcome, which tells Johnson this team is still learning how to win.

“This was a very, very winnable game,” Johnson said, via Fishbain. “I think that we’re just tired of shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re tired of not capitalizing. I think the biggest thing for us, being a young team, we’ve got to learn how to win. We’ve got to learn how to pull through. We’ve got to learn how to come together and execute at a high level throughout the duration of the game and not shoot ourselves in the foot. It takes us getting burnt, but at the end of the day, we have to learn. I think it’s better to learn from wins and we have to learn to win.”

Jaylon Johnson Playing Solid, But Still Lacks Takeaways

There have been plenty of problems with the Bears defense through the first two weeks of the new season, but Johnson has rarely been one of them.

Johnson is one of just three defenders who has played every snap so far along with linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and fellow cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. Over those 131 defensive snaps, he has recorded seven tackles, two defensive stops and one forced fumble even though he also had an ugly missed tackle in the opener against Green Bay.

The 24-year-old cornerback has also remained steady in coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, he has allowed completions on just half of his targets (four catches for 74 yards and no touchdowns on eight targets) and has been the Bears’ highest-graded defender in coverage (74.1) among those who have played in both games.

Unfortunately, the turnovers that Johnson set out to generate at the beginning of the 2023 season have yet to materialize for him. He did force Buccaneers tight end David Wells to fumble while making a no-gain stop in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss, but Baker Mayfield jumped on it and robbed the Bears of an opportunity to get a takeaway.

Bears Injuries in Secondary Are Starting to Mount

The Bears defense has a checklist of things it needs to figure out heading into a tough challenge on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3, but the injuries they have sustained to their secondary are certainly not making life any easier.

The Bears were down to their third option for the nickel cornerback position heading into Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Kyler Gordon, their starter in the slot, broke his hand in the season opener and is now on injured reserve until Week 6 at the earliest. Meanwhile, Josh Blackwell — their intended replacement — missed the final two practices of Week 2 with a hamstring injury that ultimately ruled him out.

To make matters worse, the Bears then lost both of their starting safeties — Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker — to issues throughout the game. Brisker was dealing with an illness and managed to power through it enough to close out the game for the Bears, but Jackson’s foot injury carries greater concern considering he suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury in 2022 with the Bears.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus reiterated Monday that the early diagnosis of Jackson’s injury is “positive,” but his immediate status remains in question until there is clarity.

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