Cole Kmet

Bears injury report: Latest news on Cole Kmet, Jaylon Johnson

Head coach Matt Eberflus shared how things are trending for each player on Wednesday

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The Bears were banged up as they began their preparations for the regular season finale against the Packers. Tight end Cole Kmet, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, wide receiver Darnell Mooney and long snapper Patrick Scales all did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. DJ Moore was limited with an ankle injury.

Kmet injured his knee in the second quarter of the Bears’ Week 16 win over the Cardinals and played in a limited fashion against the Falcons in Week 17. Kmet was only on the field for 13 snaps and wasn’t targeted at all in the passing game. Robert Tonyan picked up some of the slack as a receiving tight end and ended up with a season-high three catches for 40 yards against Atlanta. He could be called upon again if Kmet’s health doesn’t improve before Sunday.

Johnson exited last week’s game early with a shoulder injury. It’s a disappointing development for the star cornerback, since he’s put together a career year in the Bears secondary. With Johnson out, rookies Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith will defend the boundaries. Each player has had ups and downs throughout the year, as expected with rookie cornerbacks, but Steveson is coming off the best performance of his young career. He gave up just two catches on six targets, knocked one ball down and intercepted two others. Falcons QBs had a paltry 9.7 passer rating when targeting Stevenson.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said “it’s looking positive,” that Johnson and Kmet will be able to play against the Packers.

Mooney remained in the concussion protocol on Wednesday. It’s his 10th day in the protocol after self-reporting symptoms following the Bears’ Week 15 game against the Browns. With Mooney sidelined last week Tyler Scott, Equanimeous St. Brown and Trent Taylor each saw more playing time. The team also promoted Collin Johnson from the practice squad, and Johnson caught one pass for 11 yards.

Meanwhile Moore has dealt with an ankle injury on and off over the second half of the season. Considering he was still able to practice in a limited fashion, his injury isn’t overly concerning.

The Bears are hopeful that Scales will be able to play in Week 18, but as a precaution they signed Matt Overton to the practice squad. Overton has played 139 games and spent time with seven different NFL teams before joining the Bears.

Finally, backup quarterback Tyson Bagent missed practice with an illness. If Bagent cannot play on Sunday, Nathan Peterman would act as Justin Fields’ backup.

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