Eddie Jackson on Justin Fields: ‘This is what we dreamed about’

Watching Bears quarterback Justin Fields makes Eddie Jackson think about the future — but also the past.

SHARE Eddie Jackson on Justin Fields: ‘This is what we dreamed about’
Bears safety Eddie Jackson was hurt after 12 games this season.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson was hurt after 12 games this season.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Watching Justin Fields makes safety Eddie Jackson think about the future — but also the past.

“We used to always pray, you know, ‘Put up 20-some points,’ ” Jackson said Monday. “Now we put up 20-some, 30 points. It’s like, ‘Man, this is what we dreamed about.’

“Now it’s time for us on defense to go capitalize off that. ... We just gotta stop letting Justin do everything. Defense, we gotta step up, go out there and make plays.”

Jackson is the last starter standing from the Bears’ league-leading defense of 2018, but he’s not doing much of that lately. Jackson suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot Nov. 27 against the Jets.

With two years left on his contract, Jackson said he “would hope” the Bears bring him back next year. After a resurgent season — he had four interceptions in 12 games — he’s excited for 2023.

“You can kind of see everything coming together,” he said. “You just see the type of pieces we have, and it’s like, ‘Man, next year is going to be special.’ That is something I would love to be a part of, continue to build with these guys and, you know, just see where it takes us.”

Jackson spent Monday afternoon at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, where he, in conjunction with Campbell’s Chunky Soup, donated 100,000 meals for needy families. Jackson signed autographs for volunteers while teammates Jaquan Brisker, a safety whom Jackson took under his wing this season, and linebacker Sterling Weatherford helped pack fruit to be shipped out from the warehouse near Midway International Airport.

Jackson still uses a knee scooter to get around but perhaps not for long. He thinks he’ll be ready for the start of the Bears’ offseason program in the spring. That’s good news, given that Lisfranc injuries have ended players’ careers.

He learned last week that he didn’t need surgery.

“That was a great feeling,” he said. “I’m glad I was able to avoid the needle.”

At first, Jackson thought he merely suffered a sprained foot. He told trainer Andre Tucker to give him a numbing shot on the sideline, but he refused. It wasn’t until Jackson tried to stand on his toes in the locker room — and couldn’t — that he realized how serious the injury was. He didn’t know much about Lisfranc injuries, which occur when players hurt ligaments and bones in their midfoot. He said he had only minor damage.

Jackson’s foot remains immobilized, and he has yet to do any weight-bearing exercises. He’ll have an MRI exam in about 10 days to check his progress.

“[Doctors] said it’s all about my body, how I heal,” he said. “Everything looks up right now.”

Jackson was hurt on a non-contact play at MetLife Stadium. The NFL Players Association considers the slit-film artificial turf used by both New York teams — in addition to the Vikings, Lions, Saints, Colts and Bengals — to be dangerous.

Jackson thinks the turf might have contributed to his injury — “Maybe, kinda, sorta,” he said — but didn’t want to focus on it.

“When you get hurt, you wanna blame it on this, you wanna blame it on that,” he said. “I was just doing regular things that I do every week, every day. Break in. Just a simple plant. Just kinda got stuck in the turf or whatever the case may be. But you gotta move forward from it.”

Jackson watches home games from a luxury box — he can’t stand on the sideline because he’s not agile enough to avoid players running out of bounds yet — and checks in on his teammates in the locker room afterward.

He knows the Bears need to be better. But he sees it coming.

“[Fields] is continuing to chase greatness,” he said. “I feel like his mindset, his mentality is always going to push him to strive for better. So it’s always exciting to watch him, whether you’re on the field or off the field.”

The Latest
Four men were in the 1100 block of South Whipple Street when a white car drove by and someone inside opened fire around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Manager Craig Counsell revealed the decision Tuesday before the Cubs opened a three-game series against the Braves at Wrigley Field.
ComEd says the outages are mainly in Cook, Winnebago and Stephenson counties. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for nine counties in northern and northeast Illinois until midnight.
The two-time Gold Glove winner at short says he’s back to 100% physically, and that’s not all. He’s also clearer in between the ears after having tried to play through pain — and done poorly at it — while holding a bit too stubbornly to the ideal of taking the field whenever possible.