Whether Eddie Jackson will play again this year for the Bears is up-in-the-air (more on that in a moment), but at least his on-the-field excellence wasn’t going ignored.
The NFL released the first batch of Pro Bowl voting totals on Monday, which revealed Jackson as the NFC’s leading vote-getter among free safeties. It’s not a major award. And it isn’t even Jackson’s most impressive achievement since joining the Bears in 2017. But damn, it feels good to see BoJack get his flowers like this:
Don’t get it twisted. This isn’t a huge deal. Especially when comparing it with Jackson’s NFL achievements. Think about what he has done to this point of his pro career. Jackson has earned Pro Bowl honors and first-team All-Pro recognition. He has a spot on the list of 100 Greatest Bears of All-Time and hasn’t even turned 30 yet. Six defensive touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and numerous highlight-reel plays all come to mind when I start thinking of Jackson’s accomplishments. And a Nov. 28 Pro Bowl vote count pales in comparison to the things I mentioned earlier in this graf. However, there is something unique about Jackson getting the most votes among NFC free safeties at this specific point in this particular season.
The Bears are no dang good right now. They are 3-9 and on pace to land a top 5 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Their defense stinks, too. The Jets, whose offense was averaging less than 3 inches per play during stretches of their Week 11 loss to the Patriots, just put 31 on the Bears defense in Week 12. It’s just not pretty. And yet, Jackson — in a bounce-back year, after a pair of down seasons in 2020 and 2021, on a bad team — has enough sauce to garner the most votes among the dudes playing his position. That’s impressive. Full stop.
It’s just a shame that Jackson’s season could be over before he could finish it on a high note, as the severity of the foot injury he suffered on Sunday is still unknown:
I’ll be in full rage mode if Jackson’s season ends on a non-contact foot injury on the crummy MetLife surface. But before I get there, we’ll hope for the best. And we’ll acknowledge that Jackson’s season was going pretty darn well before that flare-up. We’ve seen Jackson bounce back before, and am already looking forward to seeing him do it again.