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Defensive Relief Slowly Returning

Eddie Jackson became the first of several injured Bears starters to return to the practice field.

Safety Eddie Jackson managed on Thursday to get back on the field for the first time since his Oct. 31 hamstring injury against San Francisco. 

It's the only injury looking up for the Bears as they head into the final day of practice to face Baltimore Sunday at Soldier Field.

Jackson was able to practice only on a limited basis, meaning he wasn't involved in the team scrimmage work. DeAndre Houston-Carson has replaced Jackson since he went out on the second play from scrimmage with the injury against the 49ers.

Houston Carson has filled in well for the Bears with Pro Football Focus giving him a 74.0 grade, the 20th highest safety mark over 295 plays. It's by far the most plays he's ever had on defense. 

The same website had given Jackson only a 55 grade for the season, ranking him 78th. 

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Houston-Carson has produced the last three takeaways the Bears have had. He had their last interception, in Week 5 against Las Vegas. He picked up a fumbled punt return and scored on it against Pittsburgh on Nov. 8 and he also recovered a fourth-and-goal fumble at the goal line against Tampa Bay at the end of the third quarter.

The injuries plaguing defensive end Akiem Hicks (ankle), edge rusher Khalil Mack (foot), wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring), linebacker Danny Trevathan (knee) and tackle Elijah Wilkinson (knee) kept them off the practice field again on Thursday. 

Not having Robinson would be a huge blow to the offense. He hasn't missed a game since 2018.

Wide receiver Darnell Mooney (foot) was limited in practice while linebacker Alec Ogletree (ankle) and running back Damien Williams (knee) were taken off the injury report and practiced in full.

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