Even though Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy said he expected Eddie Jackson to test out his injured ankle at practice on Wednesday, the Pro Bowl safety still appeared as a “DNP” on the first injury report of the postseason.
Jackson (ankle) and linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow) were listed as non participants in Wednesday’s practice. Both were injured in the team’s Week 15 win against the Green Bay Packers and neither has appeared in a game since. There was some optimism surround Jackson’s potential availability when Nagy told reporters at Halas Hall that Jackson would test his injured ankle at Wednesday’s practice. But some of that optimism has lessened after seeing the day’s injury report.
To see news that Jackson did not practice is a bit concerning, especially after Nagy said his star safety would test his ankle. On the other hand, we have seen the Bears play it ultra-conservatively with players nursing injuries and could still be doing everything in their power to get Jackson back on the field for Sunday. Or to put it another way, Jackson could still see action on Sunday even if he missed practice today. In any case, we’ll continue to monitor the situation.
For what it’s worth, Jackson had an positive appraisal of the situation:
I just asked @ChicagoBears Safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) if he’s playing this week (having missed the last two games):
“Most likely”. Better chance he plays, than not. @nflnetwork
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) January 2, 2019
Meanwhile, Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush tweets: “a little birdie is telling me Jackson will be good to go Sunday.”
There isn’t an overwhelming sense of hope, but it’s still there if you want to see it.
As for the rest of the injury report, here it is:
#Bears Wednesday Injury Report:
DNP: Jackson (ankle), Lynch (elbow)
FULL: Gabriel (ribs), Long (ankle), Miller (shoulder), Robinson II (ribs)
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) January 2, 2019
The most promising update from today is that wide receivers Allen Robinson II, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller were all full participants in Wednesday’s practice. Robinson’s ribs caused him to miss the season finale against the Minnesota Vikings, while Gabriel dealt with rib issues after a 40-yard catch against the Vikings that caused him to leave the game early. Miller also had an early exit in Week 17 to deal with a shoulder problem that flared up on the first drive of the game. Mitch Trubisky’s numbers took a dip in the second half against the Vikings and I’m certain that some of the fall off can be attributed to him being without his three best pass-catching targets. Having healthy receivers to throw to is encouraging news, to say the least.
The Bears are a franchise just a few days away from embarking on its first playoff game since January 2011. Going to battle with as many healthy bodies is something the team has prioritized all year. There is no bigger game than the one in front of them, so we’ll see how they handle working some of these banged up bodies as we work toward game day.