The Chicago Bears are hoping to stage an upset of their rival Minnesota Vikings in Week 15, but that is a task that will be made vastly more difficult amid the absence of some key players. And by key players, we mean their entire starting secondary. According to the Bears injury report, both Jaylon Johnson and Tashaun Gipson have been placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list ahead of the Monday Night Football showdown.
We have placed Jaylon Johnson and Tashaun Gipson on the reserve/COVID-19 list.https://t.co/JhyZf8aYLj
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 19, 2021
Johnson and Gipson now join fellow starting secondary members, cornerback Artie Burns and safety Eddie Jackson, on the reserve list, and thus on the sideline for Monday's game. That's a massive blow for the Bears, who will now be playing an entirely new crop of starters in the secondary, something the Vikings will undoubtedly hone in on when game-planning for the primetime battle.
Jackson and Burns were placed on the COVID-19 list earlier in the week, along with a handful of other Bears players, and now Gipson and Johnson have joined them in that regard.
With all four secondary members out, their replacements are expected to include the likes of Teez Tabor, Marqui Christian, Kindle Vildor, and Deon Bush. None of those players have much experience, which should bode well for the dangerous combo of Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson.
Already coming into the matchup as underdogs against their division rivals, the Bears are now at risk of surrendering some serious damage to Cousins and Co., who will be looking to pick apart the depleted secondary as frequently as possible.