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Jaylon Johnson expected to play Thursday night | Injury Update

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson
Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson was a full participant in Wednesday's practice and was not given an injury designation for Thursday night's game against the Commanders, meaning that he's set to return to action.

The 2020 second-round pick missed the last three games with a quad injury he sustained in practice. Johnson is "very confident" that he'll be able to pick up versus Washington where he left off before getting hurt.

"I work hard," he said. "I do extra work outside of this building. So I feel like my film study, the extra time that I put in, I'm confident coming back, for sure."

Johnson played all but one snap on defense in the first two games of the season against the 49ers and Packers, recording four tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one forced fumble. 

His absence was felt in last Sunday's loss to the Vikings, as Kirk Cousins led Minnesota to touchdowns on its first three possessions by completing 17 of 17 passes for 176 yards, including eight for 122 yards to star receiver Justin Jefferson.

Johnson told reporters that it was frustrating to watch from the Bears sideline.

"I had a lot of emotions really," he said. "I started kind of pacing at some point because it's like I know some of those things would have been prevented if I was out on the field. I feel like a lot of the game would have went totally different. But I am really just trying to see the bigger picture and I'll see them again. So I'm really just focused on this week now and preparing the best way I can for this week."

Coach Matt Eberflus has been impressed with what he's seen from Johnson in practice.

"I felt good about him last week and he's looking better and better and better," Eberflus said. "We really like where he is. He's been going through the workout today, working with speed and we're excited with where he is."

The Bears are also pleased with the progress that N'Keal Harry has been making. The fourth-year receiver returned to practice last Wednesday for the first time since hurting his ankle Aug. 6 in training camp.

Activated off injured reserve Monday, Harry was limited Tuesday and a full participant in practice Wednesday. He was not given an injury designation, but it remains unknown whether he'll play Thursday night.

"We'll see where he is," Eberflus said Wednesday afternoon. "We're not sure. We're still working through it, see where he is and see if he's ready to go."

Harry was acquired by the Bears July 13 in a trade with the Patriots in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick. Selected by New England with the 32nd choice in the first round of the 2019 draft out of Arizona State, he has appeared in 33 games with 18 starts over three seasons, catching 57 passes for 598 yards and four TDs.

Asked what the 6-4, 225-pounder will bring to the Bears offense, Eberflus said: "Another big body in there. Those big guys are open. You can throw a deep pass to him, they're open and they go get it, go up and climb and go get the ball. Any time we can add another guy like that to the mix, it's going to create competition and it's going to create more athletic ability on the football field for our offense."

Harry said that he'll be ready to play if given the opportunity.

"It's been hard just sitting here watching, especially once I started going to the games and standing on the sidelines," he said. "It just brings you so much closer to the actual game. So I'm excited. I'm ecstatic."

The only Bears player on this week's injury report is safety Dane Cruikshank (hamstring), who is questionable after practicing Monday through Wednesday without restrictions.

Washington, meanwhile, has ruled out four starters: Right tackle Sam Cosmi (finger), receiver Jahan Dotson (hamstring), tight end Logan Thomas (calf) and cornerback William Jackson III (back).

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