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Bears put Johnson, Vildor on IR; activate Herbert | Roster Moves

Bears running back Khalil Herbert, cornerback Jaylon Johnson and cornerback Kindle Vildor
Bears running back Khalil Herbert, cornerback Jaylon Johnson and cornerback Kindle Vildor

The Bears on Friday made the following roster moves:

• Placed cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Kindle Vildor on injured reserve, ending their seasons.

Johnson (finger/ribs) had been listed as questionable on the injury report for Saturday's home game against the Bills after being limited in practice Thursday. The 2020 second-round pick started all 11 games he played this season, recording 35 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, seven pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. 

Vildor has been sidelined since injuring his ankle Nov. 27 against the Jets. The 2020 fifth-round draft pick appeared in 11 games with nine starts this season, registering 34 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one interception and five pass breakups.

• Activated running back Khalil Herbert off injured reserve.

Herbert returned to practice Tuesday. The 2021 sixth-round pick missed the last four games with a hip injury he sustained Nov. 13 while returning a kickoff late in a loss to the Lions. At the time, he ranked 11th in the NFL in rushing with 643 yards and four touchdowns on 108 carries.

Asked this week what impresses him about Herbert, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said his "unique style of running" and "the cool patience that he has."

"The way guys can naturally bounce off of him I think is really cool," Getsy said. "What's nice, too, is it's a different type of back. I think there's a value in that, in having two different types of style runners like we're able to have here with [David Montgomery] and him. I think that's really cool, too. And then [Herbert] has the opportunity like we've seen to take what could be a seven-yard gain and turn it into a big one because he has enough speed to do that as well."

Herbert is part of a Bears running game that leads the NFL with an average of 186.9 yards per game. Quarterback Justin Fields tops the team and ranks seventh in the league in rushing with 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns on 143 carries, while Montgomery is 26th with 694 yards and five TDs on 172 attempts.

The 186.9 yards are the second most the Bears have averaged in a season since 1970, topped only by their 200.8 yards in 1977 when Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton led the NFL in rushing with a career-high 1,852 yards and 14 TDs on 339 carries.

• Signed cornerback Breon Borders to the active roster from the practice squad.

Borders had been on the Bears practice squad since Nov. 22. He has played in 31 games with six starts for the Bills (2017), Jaguars (2018-19), Commanders (2019), Titans (2020-21) and Cardinals (2022), compiling 42 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one interception, seven pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

Borders entered the NFL in 2017 with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent from Duke. He has also spent time with the Texans, Steelers and Dolphins.

• Elevated receiver Nsimba Webster and tight end Chase Allen to the active roster from the practice squad.

Webster made his season debut last Sunday against the Eagles, catching two passes for 14 yards while playing 10 snaps on offense and 10 on special teams. He has spent most of the last two seasons on the Bears practice squad after being claimed off waivers Sept. 1, 2021, from the 49ers. He appeared in six games last season, all as a reserve, playing one snap on offense and 59 on special teams, returning four punts for 13 yards.

Webster originally entered the NFL in 2019 with the Rams as an undrafted free agent from Eastern Washington. He appeared in 21 games, primarily on special teams, in 2019 and 2020 for Los Angeles, averaging 6.3 yards on 32 punt returns and 22.4 yards on 18 kickoff returns.

Allen spent the first 15 weeks of the season on the Bears practice squad after being signed this year as an undrafted free agent from Iowa State.

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