Bears' Eddie Jackson feeling ‘one hundred percent' as he prepares for Aaron Rodgers-less Packers

Bears' Eddie Jackson feeling ‘one hundred percent' as he prepares for Aaron Rodgers-less Packers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- This week is a first for Eddie Jackson.

For the first six years of his career, Packers Week meant Jackson and the Bears' defense had to prep for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

But with Rodgers in New York now, Jackson and the Bears face a different task Sunday when they open the season against the Packers at Soldier Field: Jordan Love.

"He can do some different things," Jackson said of Love on Wednesday after practice. "Like you said, there’s not too much film on him, so we’ve just got to go out there and play our game. Feel like he wants to get off on a quick game, get some completions, get his confidence going early, so we just have to be on our Qs."

Jackson suffered an ankle injury on the first day of joint practices with the Indianapolis Colts. He did not practice for the remainder of training camp and was listed as a limited participant on the Bears' first official injury report Wednesday.

While limited Wednesday, Jackson sounds like he'll be ready to go Sunday against a Rodgers-less Packers team.

"I feel like I’m good," Jackson said. "I feel like I’m back to a hundred percent. A lot of work rehabbing, getting back. So it feels good."

Jackson wasn't the only key defensive player who was limited Wednesday.

Fellow safety Jaquan Brisker was limited with a groin injury, while edge rusher DeMarcus Walker was limited with a calf issue.

Wednesday was a big day for Brisker, who has missed almost a month with that injury. Despite the limited designation, the Bears are confident he will also suit up on Sunday.

"Yes, yup, yup," Eberflus said Wednesday when asked if Brisker was on track to play. "Today’s a big day like we said, but he’s looked good up to this point, so we’re excited about it."

With Rodgers gone, Jackson and the Bears understand the importance of Sunday's game against their rival. A win could signal a long-awaited changing of the rivalry tides and propel them forward to a successful 2023 season.

"I mean, it's huge," Jackson said. "I feel like this is going to anticipate a lot on how our season will go. How we come out here and attack this game Week 1. Everyone in here knows what this game means, it's a big rivalry, Green Bay and the Bears. So it's huge for us to just come out here and get this thing off to a good start and get this win in Week 1."

The Bears' defense has dreams of being dominant in 2023. Those are lofty goals for a unit that was among the worst in the NFL in 2022. Even loftier for a unit that spent only a handful of training camp days together at full strength.

With Jackson, Brisker, and Walker back in a limited capacity, Wednesday's practice allowed the Bears to see where their chemistry is at with four days to go until kick-off.

"Today was a good day," Jackson said. "Everyone was flying around, you wouldn't even know that everyone was gone, so. But that's how we prepare with walk-throughs, we do a lot of emphasizing on that with walk-throughs, communication, make sure everyone is on point and making sure the game is the same way. It was a good day to start today and we just have to continue to build off of it."

Earlier this offseason, Jackson said he wished Rodgers was still in Green Bay to face this improved Bears defense. He admits it was different turning on Packers film and not seeing No. 12 under center.

But it's probably a sight he'll enjoy getting used to seeing.

"Nah, nothing I miss," Jackson said, smiling when asked if he'll miss anything about facing Rodgers.

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