Chicago Bears cornerback Artie Burns reportedly tore his ACL. How does that affect the cornerback battle now?

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent cornerback Artie Burns to battle for the spot open spot held by Prince Amukamara last season. The team decided to cut Amukamara, and Burns, along with Kevin Toliver and rookie Jaylon Johnson, were going to battle for the starting spot opposite of Kyle Fuller.

Burns started to practice with the starters. Many felt he would ultimately win the job, though he’d only be a place marker. As soon as Johnson shows he was NFL-ready the Bears make a move to start him.

All that changes now, apparently. Burns hurt his left knee today. He got an MRI done on it, and it reportedly showed that he tore his ACL.

It appears that the Bears looked at the real battle being between Toliver and Johnson for the backup. This is what head coach Matt Nagy said before Burns injured his knee.

Artie is a first round draft pick and has been in this league. He has experience. So just naturally for him to be able to come in here with Kevin Toliver, I think that that’s normal. You’ll probably end up seeing more and more reps as the days and weeks go on with Jaylon because we need to evaluate. That’s a very important position that we need to get right. And only time will tell with reps.

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Will the Bears now have Toliver and Johnson battle for the starting spot, or will they bring someone else in to fight for the starting job as well? They want to see what Johnson can do and see if he’s ready to start right at the beginning of the season. However, will they bring him in slowly as they did with Riley Ridley last season? Additionally, that was the plan for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s rookie season but Mike Glennon‘s poor play prevented that from happening.

Johnson has about three weeks now to show the coaching staff that they don’t need to bring him in slowly. He wants to show them that he’ll be ready to start in Week 1 and get a start on what he and the team hope to be a successful career.

Burns signed a one year contract worth about $1 million. The Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick (25th overall) in 2016 starting 32 games in four seasons with Pittsburgh but struggled and fell out of favor recently. In 2018, he only had six starts and only one last season. He hoped to resurrect his career with the Bears but that now falls to the wayside. Now it’s likely he doesn’t return to Chicago when he’s healthy. In fact, this may jeopardize his career. Let’s hope he gets another chance to revive his career.

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