EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Already down some key players due to injuries, the Bears limped out of MetLife Stadium with an even more depleted roster following Sunday's 31-10 loss to the Jets.
Losing Mooney and Jackson especially stung the Bears.
"Both of those guys are really good players," said coach Matt Eberflus. "Eddie has been a really good player this year. Darnell is our leading receiver and he's done a great job. When you lose the production of those guys, No. 1, that always hurts, and also the leadership part of it. Those guys have been great in the locker room. They are great teammates. They really are encouraging to others and they really model the behavior we wish to see."
Mooney was injured early in the second half while blocking on David Montgomery 13-yard run. The third-year receiver was assisted off the field and directly to the locker room, unable to put any weight on his left leg. Mooney leads the Bears with 40 receptions for 493 yards and two touchdowns.
"You hate to see for us offensively a guy like 'Moon' go down," said tight end Cole Kmet. "Just a bright vibrant guy in the huddle and obviously a big playmaker. So when you lose him it's tough, for sure."
Watch the Bears' Week 12 matchup against the New York Jets unfold through the lenses of our sideline photographers at MetLife Stadium.
Jackson was injured on Mike White's 54-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson that gave the Jets a 14-10 lead with 4:57 left in the first half. Jackson went down to the turf without being contacted by another player, before Wilson even caught the ball.
Jackson exited after Cruikshank had left with a hamstring injury. With Brisker already out, the Bears were down to two healthy safeties in DeAndre Houston-Carson and rookie Elijah Hicks.
"That's part of football," said defensive tackle Justin Jones. "That's why we've got guys backing up the guys we have in there. But the guys that are the next man up, you've got to make sure you're in your playbook and make sure you know what's going on in the game because you never know when your number's going to be called."
Jackson entered Sunday's game leading the Bears with 58 tackles, four interceptions, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
"Eddie keeps us going," said linebacker Nicholas Morrow. "He's a good leader. Obviously, he's a great player. He's always up-tempo. I hate that for him because he's a good guy and he's done a good job of keeping everybody together and keeping everybody into the games."
"It's tough," Jones said. "He's a big part of this defense. But like I said, it's next-man-up. We've got guys who watch him every day in practice, guys who sit beside him in the meetings. So you've got to make sure that you're ready to go when it's time for you to get in there. We don't expect a drop-off when Eddie goes down. That's the type of trust you've got to have in your teammates."
When Reiff exited with a shoulder injury in the first quarter, Borom stepped in at right tackle. But Borom left with an undisclosed injury late in the game and was replaced by Michael Schofield III