You wouldn’t know Bears safety Eddie Jackson had just suffered a season-ending injury by seeing him on Monday.
The 2-time Pro Bowler was in good spirits in Chicago, joining linebacker Sterling Weatherford and safety Jaquan Brisker at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. In a partnership with Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Jackson is among those donating 100,000 meals as part of the organization’s hunger-relief program, Chunky Sacks Hunger. The Chunky brand is partnering with 11 NFL teams to provide food and donations to those in need.
“We’re giving out [100,000] meals to families around the city of Chicago,” Jackson said. “Just taking a time out to come out and give back and do something nice for the community.”
Jackson, who suffered a Lisfranc injury on Nov. 27 in the Bears’ loss to the Jets, recently learned that his injury will not require surgery. Though he says he did not the severity of a Lisfranc injury when he was first told the news, he knows that he is lucky for having avoided major damage to his foot.
Though Jackson is unable to suit up for the Bears or be on the sidelines, he noted that he watched the team’s game against the Eagles at Soldier Field on Sunday from the skybox with his family. The game resulted in a loss — Chicago’s seventh loss in a row — but there was a general sense of optimism to come out of the game.
Among the reasons for said optimism was the performance from Justin Fields, who topped 1,000 rushing yards and broke the single-season rushing record for a quarterback in Bears history. When asked about the praise Fields has received for his speed and toughness, Jackson said that those traits have been obvious to his Bears teammates all year.
“[Those were] things that we already knew,” Jackson stated. “And it’s the same characteristics that he mentioned as the ones we already knew, ones we see every day. To see what type of competitor he is, how tough he is, relentless, and just how he’s able to make plays when we need it, put the team on his back, hold on there and make plays...even when it seemed like we were out of it, he always found a way to get us back in.”
Prior to his injury, Jackson had been putting together one of the best seasons of his NFL career. After going through both the 2020 and 2021 seasons without an interception, he had 4 interceptions and 6 pass deflections in 12 games, both of which being his highest totals since his first-team All-Pro year in 2018. He attributes his bounce back in production to having a chip on his shoulder and an aggressive mindset.
“Just locking in 100%,” he replied when asked about the difference between this year and years past. “Nothing else matters. [I’ve been] going out there and laying everything on the line, every play, every game, going out there trying to be better not being complacent, not getting comfortable, just always working to try to be better.”
Jackson anticipates that his injury will not affect his ability to partake in offseason activities. When he does return, his presence as a veteran and a leader will be much welcomed among a Bears secondary full of young talents.