Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith and cornerback Jaylon Johnson are listed as questionable to play in Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans as they deal with injuries.
Smith didn’t practice all week as he recovers from a hip injury suffered in the Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He was in uniform stretching with the team during the portion of Friday’s practice open to the media at Halas Hall, but the Bears listed him as “did not practice” based on not taking reps in team drills.
Coach Matt Eberflus said listing Smith as questionable means he’s at a 51% chance of playing.
“We’re excited he’s there at that point through the course of the week, and we’ll have to see if he’s going to be up or down,” Eberflus said. “He’s working toward the game, and we’re hopeful that he’ll be there.”
The Bears already will be thin at linebacker because they will be without Matt Adams, who played 31% of the defensive snaps against the Packers but suffered a hamstring injury in practice this week.
The Bears could turn to undrafted rookie linebackers Jack Sanborn or Sterling Weatherford and have veteran Joe Thomas on their practice squad. Eberflus said he thinks Sanborn will be ready if he is needed on defense and added he had a good week of practice.
“I feel confident in myself from everything that I’ve gone through so far,” Sanborn said. “All training camp and in practice and things like that, that’s where your confidence has got to grow.”
Johnson injured his quad in practice Thursday and didn’t participate Friday. The Bears have some flexibility with how they could handle a replacement, as they’ve been moving rookie Kyler Gordon from outside cornerback in the base defense to nickel during games. Kindle Vildor plays outside in the nickel defense.
Tight end Ryan Griffin (Achilles) and safety Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) also were declared out.
Rookie wide receiver/returner Velus Jones Jr. was limited in practice for a second straight day as he recovers from a hamstring injury but is listed as doubtful. Jones missed the first two games with the injury that has been nagging him since training camp.
Jones said he feels good physically but he’s trying to listen to his body as he goes through the recovery process.
“My time will come, so I just worry about the day ahead,” Jones said. “What can I do to get better? What can I do to get myself back faster? It’s all about focusing on the day ahead, not trying to look too far down the line.”