Bears’ season ended with no help from TE Trey Burton or Pro Bowl S Eddie Jackson
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When Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson tested his right ankle hours before the Bears’ game Sunday against the Eagles, there was one question coaches said he had to answer: Could he play man coverage with it?
Jackson realized he couldn’t.
‘‘I didn’t want to go up there and not be able to perform to the level that I can, that I know I can,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘That was just the biggest thing: Don’t go out there and try to be a superhero and you can’t perform and you hurt the team, giving up big plays and stuff like that.’’
Jackson, who suffered a high sprain of his right ankle while returning an interception three weeks ago against the Packers, didn’t play against the Eagles. He was active, though, in case of emergency — and because the Bears had an extra roster spot.
The reason? In one of the strangest turns of the season, former Eagles tight end Trey Burton was held out of the game. Coach Matt Nagy said Burton woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday with pain in his groin.
The team examined Burton, conducted tests and finally reported him as questionable late Saturday. He was inactive against the Eagles.
‘‘It crushed him,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘It absolutely crushed him. I just saw him in there. He feels bad because he feels like he wasn’t there for his guys. How ironic, just crazy ironic, that it was against Philadelphia.’’
With 36 seconds left in the first half, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw a ball deep to receiver Anthony Miller that was broken up by cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc at the Eagles’ 5. Officials, though, reviewed the play to see whether it was a fumble instead of an incompletion.
The problem was that neither team had picked up the ball before officials blew the play dead. The play was ruled a fumble, but because it never was recovered, the original call of an incompletion stood up.
Confused? The ruling was poorly explained on the field by referee Tony Corrente, but it ultimately was correct. The rulebook states: ‘‘If the referee does not have clear and obvious visual evidence as to which player recovered the loose ball, or that the ball went out of bounds, the ruling on the field will stand.’’
The Bears eventually kicked a 29-yard field goal as the half expired.
Not enough Tarik
Running back Tarik Cohen got the ball a season-low four times on offense. He carried once for no gain and had three catches for 27 yards.
Asked about Cohen’s usage, Nagy admitted it was low.
‘‘What do you think?’’ he said. ‘‘Four touches is not enough.’’
The Eagles ‘‘had a good game plan against me,’’ Cohen said. ‘‘I don’t feel I did enough with the touches I was given.’’
Cohen did, however, make a big play. With the Bears trailing by a point with about a minute left, he returned a kickoff 35 yards.