The Chicago Bears are headed for a pivotal meeting with the rival Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, but might play that game without a key defender.
The Bears have placed All-Pro safety Eddie Jackson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per a team announcement Monday.
Jackson has started in all 10 games for Chicago’s stellar defense this season, recording 58 tackles, three forced fumbles and two passes defended. Jackson has 10 interceptions in his career, but has yet to record one in 2020.
Sherrick McManis is listed behind Jackson on Chicago’s depth chart, but suffered a broken finger against Tennessee in Week 9. He hasn’t played since then, making this a situation to monitor as the week progresses. Per NFL-NFL Players Association protocol, if Jackson tests negative twice, he’ll be able to return within five days from landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning he still has a chance to return in time for the Sunday night affair.
Change could also be afoot elsewhere for the Bears. Coach Matt Nagy didn’t name a starter when asked who he is leaning toward after having the bye week to reflect and evaluate where the Bears stand at 5-5.
“We’re going through and just trying to figure out, OK, health-wise, where they’re at,” Nagy said of Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky. “Also, us, too, coming through the bye, like I said us evaluating where we’re at as a team, as an offense, all of that is on the table.
“We’ve had the ability to get away for a little bit, us as coaches, and do what we need to do individually away from the building, or some of us at the building. But for the most part, we’re just gonna kind of get to Wednesday and see exactly where both of these guys are at in the quarterback position-wise.”
Nagy’s long-winded non-answer didn’t reveal much, but he did point to his team’s struggles to run the ball as a reason for why his offense has struggled. Whether it’s Foles or Trubisky, it’s not all on the quarterback, but he also said the offense just wasn’t “jelling” in general. “Big-time changes” have contributed to Chicago’s lack of an offensive identity, Nagy said, but at 5-5 with six to play, time is of the essence.
“The bye week comes at a time now where it gives us a chance to figure out ‘OK, what are we doing, how are we doing it and how are we going to get it fixed?’ And that’s just kind of where we’re at,” Nagy said.
There isn’t all that much to glean from Nagy’s comments, other than that we’ll have to wait until the Bears take the field to see if they’ve figured it out. That begins with their decision at quarterback, which as of this point, is unknown.