The Baltimore Ravens traded back-up cornerback Anthony Averett to the Denver Broncos for a draft pick. The team was reportedly in favor of drafting Artie Burns, who has been compared favorably with Antonio Brown and Julio Jones when it comes to his skillset.
The “artie burns stats” is the new starting cornerback for the Bears. He replaced Vildor, who was benched in favor of Burns.
Bears CB Getty Artie Burns has taken the place of Kindle Vildor.
The Chicago Bears started Kindle Vildor at cornerback for the first ten games, but he was benched in Week 12 in favor of veteran Artie Burns.
Vildor was drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Georgia Southern, and the Bears hoped that he would grow into a competent cornerback opposite Jaylon Johnson this season. That hasn’t occurred, and the club is now considering Burns.
Burns, along with Johnson, played 100 percent of the team’s snaps at cornerback against the Detroit Lions in Week 12 on Thanksgiving, while Vildor’s involvement was limited to special teams.
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Vildor is Slumping for the Bears in DC
On November 24, Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, “I would say Kindle has been in a little bit of a rut.” The Bears’ general manager added:
When you’re the only corner being targeted because Jaylon’s targets have gone down, it’s difficult. He’s also a young corner. He’ll have to go through some growing pains at some point. He’ll have to put up with it, and it’ll be a good test for him to see whether he’s psychologically strong enough to do so. And we’re here to help him get through it, and we have to make sure that we assist him wherever we can… Even if it’s rotation or whatever it is, we need to make sure he’s placed in a setting where he can flourish in order to help him recover.
So far this season, Vildor has a 48.8 overall rating and a 44.1 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. He was targeted 46 times, which resulted in 32 catches. He has a passer rating of 136.7 against opposing quarterbacks, and he allows 16.4 yards per catch. After letting veteran CB Kyle Fuller depart this summer, it’s become evident that Vildor isn’t going to be the long-term solution to replace him, and his benching isn’t surprising.
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It’s time for Artie Burns.
In 2016, Burns had a strong rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, starting nine games. During that season, he had three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and two tackles for loss. His three choices are still a career best for him. Over the course of his five-year career, he has four interceptions, 28 PDs, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries to his credit. In the victory against Detroit, he recorded two tackles and a pass defensed.
After signing with the Bears in 2020, this is the first time the organization has given Burns a thorough examination. Last year, he tore his ACL in the summer and missed the whole season. He’ll have his time to prove what he can accomplish now that the NFL season is 13 weeks old. Since joining the club last spring, he’s gone mostly unnoticed, so he’s still a big question mark in the secondary.
This does not, however, imply Vildor’s days in Chicago are over.
On November 26, Biggs said, “The Bears aren’t given up on Vildor, but taking him out when he’s having a bad time makes sense.” “The Bears may need to prioritize the position in the offseason, but Vildor will have another opportunity to prove what he can do, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he starts again before the season is up.”
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