What does the Chicago Bears cornerback room look like now that Artie Burns is out for the season?
Artie Burns was a low-risk, high upside signing that never came to fruition. His season ended before it ever started, and now the Chicago Bears are going to move on with the depth that they have.
While national media such as Adam Schefter noted the loss was starter caliber, and it is true that Burns saw starter snaps from the small set of reports we saw, Burns was a roster bubble player as much as a starter bubble player.
Still, the loss affects the depth and may make things a bit more clear in some areas. What does the depth chart look like without Burns?
1. Kyle Fuller
2. Buster Skrine
These are the clear top two cornerbacks and the two starters from last year. In two cornerback sets, Skrine usually headed to the bench and played in the slot. However, there is a chance he could play outside as number two, and shuffle inside when three corners are needed.
3. Kevin Toliver
4. Jaylon Johnson
Jaylon Johnson is banged up, meaning that Toliver has every chance to be a Week One starter on the outside in three cornerback sets. The Bears have called on him in the past, and he could take advantage of a golden chance.
5. Kindle Vildor
6. Duke Shelley
Vildor was drafted higher, he can play inside and outside, and he has more special teams pedigree than Shelley. Still, it is fair to admit that it is a toss-up who the Bears favor between these two. If Skrine moves outside, could one of these two starts over Toliver in the slot?
7. Stephen Denmark
Denmark is a complete question mark after a season on the practice squad. Still, drafting two corners, and signing Burns may show his status.
8. Michael Joseph
9. Xavier Crawford
With Burns making the roster, there was a real chance that Shelley would find his way to the practice squad with Denmark. That would mean both of these corners would be gone. Now, there is a chance one of the two could stick around on the practice squad.