Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson: Bears will come back with ‘chip on our shoulder’
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Bears safety Eddie Jackson was only seconds into his first interview after practice Wednesday at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Disney World before he was interrupted.
“It feels good, man,” Jackson said of being at the Pro Bowl. “It’s a blessing . . .”
Enter Tarik Cohen. And his phone.
“First day of practice done, man,” Cohen said. “You all know ‘Bojack’ [Jackson’s nickname] out there. The real right way.”
Jackson put his arms around Cohen and jumped into his video.
“The real right way,” Jackson said. “The super right way.”
Then off Cohen went. The seven Bears in the Pro Bowl are having fun. That’s important, quarterback Mitch Trubisky said several times.
And that’s particularly true for Jackson, whose high ankle sprain forced him to watch from the sideline as the Bears’ turnaround season ended against the Eagles.
“I’m feeling good,” said Jackson, who will play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday. “It’s just been steady rehab and getting back. But it feels good.”
But it doesn’t feel good to reflect upon how the season ended. Jackson injured his right ankle returning an interception of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week 15.
Jackson missed the final two games of the season with the goal being to return in the wild-card round. But the coaching staff decided after a brief pregame workout that Deon Bush was the better, healthier option.
Jackson dressed in full equipment, but that was only because tight end Trey Burton was inactive with a surprise groin injury.
“It was tough, man,” Jackson said. “It sucked, especially not being able to go out there and play and just watching from the sideline. It sucked, man.”
The Bears’ defense clearly missed Jackson’s playmaking ability against the Eagles. During his second season, he had six interceptions, including two pick-sixes, and recovered two fumbles, including one he returned for a touchdown.
“It’s just sucks, man, watching the teams compete [in the playoffs],” Jackson said. “[Respect] out to those guys, but it’s just knowing that should have been us. There is still that feeling in the back of the mind.”
Having fun this week at the Pro Bowl with Cohen, Trubisky, cornerback Kyle Fuller, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and center Cody Whitehair helps assuage those feelings.
“Oh, man, it feels good,” Jackson said.
But Jackson can’t wait to be on the field with them again when it counts.
“Next year,” Jackson said, “we’re definitely coming back with a chip on our shoulder.”