Bears fourth-round pick Eddie Jackson limited in minicamp debut

After two seasons fraught with injuries to young players, the Bears are going to let rookie safety Eddie Jackson take his time.

The fourth-round draft pick was limited in minicamp workouts Friday. The former Alabama star is recovering from a fractured leg he suffered on a punt return against Texas A&M on Oct. 19.

“I think he’s feeling better,” coach John Fox said. “He’s still in part of his rehab. We did some things with him [in the workout], but we’re going to make sure he’s healed and ready before we put him out there.”

Roll of the dice

The Bears selected Alabama's Eddie Jackson (4, intercepting a Deshaun Watson pass in the 2016 national championship game) in the fourth round of the NFL draft. (Chris Carlson/AP)

After not taking a defensive lineman in the draft, the Bears signed veteran Jaye Howard to challenge Jonathan Bullard for the starting defensive-end position opposite veteran Mitch Unrein.

“We weren’t able to address that much in the draft,” Fox said. “Obviously, we’re looking for big steps from the guys we have on our team. He’s a veteran presence that a year ago was pretty well compensated. He did have an injury and actually is still coming back from that to some degree. We think he’s going to make us better.”

Keep an eye on …

The Bears have 38 rookies participating in minicamp this weekend on a tryout basis, including Notre Dame long snapper Scott Daly (Downers Grove South), Toledo guard Paul Perschon from Schaumburg (Conant), Northern Illinois defensive tackles Corey Thomas (Lindblom) and Mario Jones (Hubbard), Western Illinois wide receiver Lance Lenoir (Crete-Monee) and Indiana State linebacker Jameer Thurman (Proviso West).

Two players stood out just based on their size: 5-5 wide receiver Willie Quinn from Southern University and 6-9, 237-pound outside linebacker D.J. Johnson from Kansas State.

The Bears signed three tryout players after rookie minicamp last year: Colorado-Pueblo wide receiver Kieren Duncan, North Dakota State punter Ben LeCompte and Connecticut defensive end Kenton Adeyemi.

Big-play player

General manager Ryan Pace indeed paid close attention to Mitch Trubisky’s uneven performance at the Sun Bowl against Stanford. Among those invited on a tryout basis was Stanford safety Dallas Lloyd, who intercepted Trubisky twice in Stanford’s 25-23 victory over North Carolina, returning one 45 yards and the other 19 yards for a touchdown.

The 6-3, 209-pound Lloyd had four interceptions with a 29-yard return average as a senior. He also intercepted Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer (a second-round pick by the Browns) and Washington State’s Luke Falk, considered one of the top five quarterbacks in the 2018 draft.

Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

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