Josh Blackwell in line to replace injured CB Kyler Gordon vs. Bucs

Gordon missed practice Wednesday with a hand injury. Blackwell is ready, if needed. “I’ve been thrown in the fire before, so I know what to expect,” he said. “I’m confident in that.”

SHARE Josh Blackwell in line to replace injured CB Kyler Gordon vs. Bucs
Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon (6) started 14 games as a rookie last season.

Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon (6) started 14 games as a rookie last season.

John Bazemore/AP

Like any NFL backup, Bears cornerback Josh Blackwell prepares every week as though he’s going to start. That figures to come in handy this week.

Blackwell, a second-year player from Duke, is expected to start at nickel back Sunday against the Buccaneers in place of Kyler Gordon, who is out with a hand injury suffered in the season opener against the Packers.

‘‘I’ve been thrown in the fire before, so I know what to expect,’’ said Blackwell, who started against the Packers in Week 13 last season and played significant snaps against the Bills and Lions in Weeks 16 and 17. ‘‘I’m confident in that.’’

Coach Matt Eberflus was notably vague about Gordon’s injury and wouldn’t address his status for the game or the extent of his injury when he met the media before practice Wednesday.

‘‘I’m just going to say we don’t expect him to practice [Wednesday],’’ Eberflus said. ‘‘It’s his hand; we know that. I don’t have any more information than that.’’

But indications are that Gordon will miss at least one game.

‘‘It’s a huge loss, losing Kyler,’’ safety Jaquan Brisker said. ‘‘He’s an awesome leader, an awesome playmaker.’’

The Bears signed Blackwell before Week 1 last season after he was waived by the Eagles, who had signed him as an undrafted free agent. He made his biggest impression against the Packers, when the Bears held Aaron Rodgers to 182 passing yards in a 28-19 loss at Soldier Field.

‘‘That was a huge confidence boost,’’ Blackwell said. ‘‘I’ve watched Aaron Rodgers my whole life. To have that opportunity to play against him . . . it was dope. Now [that] I have that game under my belt, I can go out there with confidence.’’

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