The Chicago Bears just received a significant blow as they begin preparations for their hugely important Week 12 against the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers. The team announced Monday via Twitter it has placed All-Pro safety Eddie Jackson on its COVID-19-reserve list.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 23, 2020
Per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, “Jackson did not test positive … Rather, he was in close contact with someone outside of Halas Hall who did.” Thus, Jackson still has a chance to play against the Packers Sunday in a game the Bears need to win if they want to keep their diminishing playoff hopes alive.
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Eddie Jackson Could Still Play Week 12 vs Packers
Jackson has missed just two games since the Bears drafted him in the fourth round in 2017, and his placement on the reserve-COVID-19 list this week doesn’t mean he’ll miss a third.
“Players deemed close contacts must sit out for five days, dating to the last time they interacted with someone infected,” Finley added. Jackson will also have to test negative for COVID-19 consecutive times on different days in order to be cleared to play. Still, he’ll miss out on a week’s worth of preparations with his teammates, which isn’t good for a Bears defense set to face Aaron Rodgers and a Packers offense that is third in the NFL in scoring.
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Bears HC Matt Nagy Stressed Importance of Game vs Packers
When he was asked about Chicago’s upcoming game against the rival Packers next Sunday night, Nagy talked about the opportunity to surprise a lot of people on a very big stage. The Bears have lost four straight, but a playoff opportunity is within their grasp — if they stop the bleeding and start winning.
“We all know about the rivalry and what it means to our organization and what it means in NFL history, this type of rivalry that we have in front of us. Obviously since I’ve been here we’ve won one out of three and we know we need to change that. Now, when you look at where we are at right now and losing these four games as we did heading into the bye, it gives us the opportunity to go against one of the best teams in the NFL with one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in this game. We know that, but that’s a challenge we have sitting in front of us. I just know that from the character of our players and the competitors they are that they are certainly not going to back down and they will certainly be excited to get back out there and fight,” Nagy told the media Monday.
If Chicago stands a chance of upsetting the first-place Packers, they’ll need their top players — which absolutely include Jackson — ready to go.