Bears' Eddie Jackson looks good in injury rehab, per Ryan Poles

Poles: Eddie Jackson looking good in injury rehab originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Questions about Justin Fields and what the Bears do with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft have dominated headlines. Deservedly so, since Fields and the No. 1 pick are the two most important pieces to the team’s plans as they try to transition from rebuilders to competitors. But the Bears also have a big question mark in the back end of their defense, as Eddie Jackson continues to recover from a Lisfranc injury.

On Tuesday, Ryan Poles shared that he saw Jackson recently, and that Jackson looked good while moving around.

Jackson entered the 2022 season with a lot to prove in Matt Eberflus’ new system. He hadn’t played up to his standards in several seasons, and there was speculation that Jackson could be a cut candidate if he didn’t improve. Jackson will have the biggest cap hit in 2023 at just over $17 million, according to Spotrac.

But Jackson did prove himself in the 11.5 games he played last season. He intercepted four passes and forced two fumbles, showing the ballhawking ability that made him a star in 2018. Beyond that, Jackson worked hard to improve his tackling and made contributions in run defense. Both Poles and Eberflus noticed.

“I was excited about the progress that he made,” said Poles. “I thought he was heading in the right direction… so we’re excited about Eddie.”

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the Bears want Jackson back in 2023. But the Bears don’t just want Jackson the Player, they also want Jackson the Teacher. Jackson embraced taking on a bigger leadership role last year, and took it upon himself to mentor others. When Robert Quinn was traded to the Eagles, the Bears voted for Jackson to replace him as a permanent team captain.

“Jaquan (Brisker) learned a lot from Eddie,” said Eberflus. “So it’s a big piece that we have that continuity.”

Regardless of how much the Bears want Jackson to return, a lot is left to be seen with how he recovers from his Lisfranc injury. It’s a serious diagnosis that can end a player’s career. Jackson already got good news when it was determined he didn’t require surgery to repair his footー that typically indicates better outcomes. But we’ll see how he does when minicamps roll around later this spring.

At least for now, things seem to be heading in the right direction for Jackson to return to the Bears in 2023.

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