Why John Fox threw the challenge flag — and got Bears the ball back

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Bears coach John Fox, center right, celebrates with free safety Eddie Jackson on Sunday. (AP)

CINCINNATI — In a turn of events from his most notorious loss, Bears coach John Fox used a challenge flag to get the ball back for his team Sunday. In the fourth quarter, he challenged the call of a completed pass to receiver A.J. Green down the left sideline. He argued — correctly — that rookie safety Eddie Jackson stripped the ball away from Green went out of bounds.

“I was fortunate that it happened right in front of me,” he said. “I didn’t have to take the time to wait on anybody (in the booth to suggest a replay).”

Fox lost a challenge earlier in the game when quarterback Mitch Trubisky was flagged for throwing the ball past the line of scrimmage. Fox said he threw the challenge flag because the reward of a 21-yard gain outweighed the risk.

“It was worth a shot,” he said.

Fox has won just 7-of-16 challenges in three seasons with the Bears and 49-of-131 in his head coaching career.

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