Eddie Jackson's TD a Just Reward for Frustration, Injury Scare

Eddie Jackson now has six career defensive TD returns, tying him in Bears history with Lance Briggs and three behind Peanut Tillman
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Consider it a reward for Eddie Jackson's effort and frustration this season.

First he had a scare with a knee injury which turned out to be virtually nothing, then he finally got the defensive touchdown he seemed to have twice earlier this year only to have questionable officials' calls wipe them out. 

Even then, he couldnt be comfortable because the flag flew again.

Ultimately none of it mattered much to Jackson after a 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

"You know, it was a great play by 9-4, by Rob, by Quinn," Jackson said. "You just see the ball on the ground there, just take the time to scoop it up, end zone's right there."

The Rams ran a fourth-quarter jet sweep, which seemed rather pointless considering how much they were beating up the Bears by attacking straight at them at the time. Edge rusher Robert Quinn broke through and knocked the ball from Robert Woods' hand 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. It came right to Jackson on the 8-yard line and he only needed to jog into the end zone to get the Bears back within 24-10.

A gift, at last. Then the flag flew, and hadn't Jackson been there before?

"Going in you see the flag and you;re like oh my God," Jackson said. "Just preparing for the worst, hoping for the best type of situation. I was happy when it stood, though, I could say that."

Against the New York Giants, Jackson had scored on an interception of what looked like a ball deflected into the air on Deon Bush's legitmate interception attempt. Then Jackson scored against Carolina on an interception after the ball popped up into the air following one in a series of big Kyle Fuller hits. In both cases penalties wiped out the TDs.

This time the penalty was on the Rams for holding.

The six defensive touchdowns are the most by any defensive player since Jackson entered the league in 2017 and his three fumble returns are tied for the most in that tie with Jadeveon Clowney.

Six TD returns total TD returns on defense ties him with Lance Briggs for third all time behind Charles "Peanut" Tillman, who had nine, and Mike Brown with seven.

Jackson had a more serious play earlier in Monday's game when he simply jumped into the air without contact and then crashed down to the turf clutching his knee. He limped off a bit, went into the tent and returned a series later no worse for the wear.

"I knew it wasn't nothing too bad," Jackson said. "I've been through the ACL. I'm fine. I'm feeling good. It was just a little scare. But I knew it wasn't nothing too serious and it started to calm down, I started to feel much better. But I'm good."

The Bears had two other injury situations of note in the game. Khalil Mack already had a sore back and left at one point after getting caught up in a rugby style of scrum near the goal line. And center Cody Whitehair left after a play late in the game.

Mack came back a series later and finished, like Jackson. Whitehair never returned but coach Matt Nagy said it appeared Whitehair's injury was not as severe as it looked.

The same can't be said for the Bears defensive damage in Monday's loss. They were gashed on the ground for 161 rushing yards and hurt through the air for a pair of touchdown passes as their third-down and red-zone dominance failed to prop them up.

"We're not going to break," Jackson said. "We might bend, but we won't break. We're not going to fold."

Plenty of damage can be done by bending, apparently.

"We're still going to go out there, we're going to continue to fight, we're going to make them feel us," Jackson said. "I feel like they felt us. There are some things we need to correct.

"Twenty-four points, we never like people to score on us. That's part of it. You come in, you got another great opponent this week, Sunday. We just gotta come in and get better."

Jackson said the failures of his team's offense on this night didn't enter into his or the defensive players' heads as a factor in why their defense also struggled.

"We're not out here playing the blame game," Jackson said. "We're gonna hold everyone accountable and we're gonna get better."

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