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Brisker returns to practice, eyes season opener

Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker
Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker

Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker practiced Wednesday for the first time in more than two weeks and is "right on track" to play in the Sept. 11 season opener against the 49ers, according to coach Matt Eberflus.

The second-round pick from Penn State had been sidelined since injuring his right thumb in the Bears' preseason opener Aug. 14 versus the Chiefs.

"I felt good just being out there with the guys and putting my pads back on for the first time in a while," Brisker said, "just being out there, just feeling like a regular player, just going out there doing the regular routine instead of being inside all cooped up and things like that."

Eberflus told reporters that Brisker "looked good," "executed well today" and is "looking right on track" to play in Week 1. The rookie safety fully expects to be ready for the season opener at Soldier Field.

"Oh yeah, definitely, I'll be back," Brisker said. "I feel like I'll be 120 percent by the time I'm back. I feel like I'm ahead of schedule, which I am. The doctor did a great job, and I'm just going to continue to take it one day at a time."

While he was sidelined, Brisker made sure he remained engaged by paying attention to what was transpiring in practices, walkthroughs, meetings and film sessions.

"I learned just sitting out, always have my iPad in my hands, always get the little details down and just do what I can," he said.

For a second year in a row, the Bears have partnered with ATHLiTACOMiCS (started by Bears alum Israel Idonije) to create "Monsters of the Midway" trading cards, an expansion of the original campaign that launched in 2018 and melded the world of comics and sports. Through the collaboration, the Bears and Idonije's team created an alternate universe where current and former players are depicted as superheroes that have their own unique power, which play off their natural skillsets on the field.

Brisker was drafted by the Bears 48th overall with a pick they acquired as part of a trade that sent outside linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chargers.

Brisker appeared in 34 games with 21 starts the past three seasons at Penn State, compiling 152 tackles, 7.0 tackles-for-loss, five interceptions and 19 pass breakups. Last year he was named first-team All-Big Ten and second-team All-American after generating 63 tackles, 3.0 tackles-for-loss, two interceptions and seven pass breakups.

Known for his ball skills and physicality in college, Brisker hopes to continue to show that he's capable of playing both in the deep middle of the field as well as in the box.

"A lot of people have got to say I'm this or that," Brisker said. "I'm not. I'm versatile. I've always been like that my whole career and I will be like that here, so [I want to] just continue to show I can play up high and down low."

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