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Bears Weigh Cornerback Options After Artie Burns' ACL Tear

The Bears lose a cornerback at practice on a day when there was a little bit more contact than coaches intended

The Bears are down a cornerback but the secondary wasn't about to lay down on Day 2 against a resurgent offense.

It was former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns who went out with an injury.

"It looks like a left knee," Bears coach Matt Nagy said.  

Later, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the knee injury was a torn ACL. This requires season-ending surgery.

Burns had been playing with the first team on Monday and on Tuesday Kevin Toliver II moved up into this role. Burns was signed in free agency to help provide competition until second-round draft pick Jaylon Johnson took over at right cornerback, but Johnson so far hasn't been used much with first or second team.

Ironically, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano two weeks ago said  because of Burns and Toliver, Johnson was going to be able to come into his first camp without the pressure of having to take over at second cornerback and defend the spot. Now he just might have to do it.

The defense also continues to play without outside linebacker Robert Quinn due to personal reasons and Sherrick McManis with a shoulder injury.

The defense had seen just about enough of the offense getting its way during some one-on-one work, and safety Deon Bush did something about it that didn't sit well with tight end Jimmy Graham.

Graham caught an intermediate range pass crossing the middle and Bush took him straight down to the ground, which wasn't allowed during this portion of practice. Graham let the ball go early as he moved to do something about the hit.

Both offense and defense spilled onto the field from the sidelines before anything serious could occur.

"It's a thud period, so we're not taking guys to the ground," Nagy said. "We're not tackling. So for him, every action has a reaction.

"That's just some of the stuff that you see. We talked about it afterwards, after practice, just guys being smart. We talked about being competitive, but not combative. It's all love for one another. Everybody's good. They're just playing ball, and I think it's a learning lesson."

Nevertheless, Nagy brought Bush off the sideline to midfield and had a quick word with him about the incident before everyone moved on to football again.

Graham was celebrating a bit too much for the defense's tastes much of the day.

"That’s energy and that is the swag that we need on offense," Nagy said. "We need that energy, that guy that has that fire and there’s nothing wrong with that.

"I think what that does, we’re talking everyday about being as competitive as we possibly can in every single period. You see some of the coaches get at it. It’s all in love. It’s all in fun. Nothing malicious. But we need to have that."

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