Safety Eddie Jackson (sprained ankle) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (sprained elbow) both sat out practice Wednesday with injuries they sustained in last Sunday’s division-clinching win over the Packers.
“We’ll just kind of monitor those guys the rest of this week,” said coach Matt Nagy, “see where they’re at, and as the week goes on decide where we’re at with them playing status-wise.”
Nagy reiterated Wednesday that he doesn’t think that either injury is season-ending.
“I feel cautiously optimistic about all that, but again all these things [take] time,” Nagy said. “These athletes are all different. Every one of them is different; how they respond to treatment, what their pain tolerance is, so it’s hard to put generically speaking everybody in the same category.”
Jackson was among five Bears voted to the Pro Bowl Tuesday. He’s tied for third in the league with both six interceptions and 15 pass breakups. His pick late in Sunday’s win snapped Aaron Rodgers’ NFL-record streak of 402 passes without an interception.
Jackson has scored three defensive touchdowns this season, increasing his career total to five—tied for the most all-time by a player in his first two NFL seasons. Jackson already ranks fourth in Bears history in defensive TDs behind Charles Tillman (9), Mike Brown (7) and Lance Briggs (6).
The Bears are hopeful that Jackson will return to action sooner rather than later.
“We’ll just have to see the rest of this week where he’s at pain-wise, where he’s at with his health and then we’ve got to take into consideration our situation and where we are at,” Nagy said.
Next man up: After Jackson was injured late in the Packers game while returning an interception, he was replaced by Deon Bush, a third-year pro from Miami.
“This season I’ve just been preparing, watching the guys,” Bush said. “I’ve just got to step up and step in for the team. That’s what they deserve right now.”
Selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Miami, Bush has appeared in 37 games with six starts in three seasons, recording 28 tackles, one sack, one tackle-for-loss and five stops on special teams. All six of his starts and 21 of his tackles came during his rookie season in 2016.
On the mend: Nagy revealed that guard Kyle Long, sidelined since injuring his foot Oct. 28 in a win over the Jets, could return to practice later this week. The 2013 first-round pick is eligible to be removed from injured reserve next week before the season finale.
“It would be big,” said quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. “We know how good of a player Kyle is. I don't know what his timetable is or anything; we don't talk about stuff like that. Kyle is an incredible o-lineman and just his leadership and everything he brings to the table as far as that goes, it would be huge for this offense.
“We’ll see if he’s ready. I know he’s eager to get back out there, and we're going to be happy to have him when he’s ready for that time. I think he’ll make the offense that much better.”
Thoughts and prayers: Nagy opened his press conference by offering condolences to the families of the two Chicago police officers—Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary—who were killed Monday when they were hit by a train while searching for a shooting suspect.
“These guys are sacrificing their lives for us,” Nagy said. “I know it’s a tragic situation, but I want to let their families know that we’re thinking about them and we’re here and they’re in our thoughts and prayers.”
The Bears get back to the practice field after clinching the division as they prepare to hit the road and play the San Francisco 49ers.