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Quick Hits: Speedy Mooney takes pride in his physicality

Bears WR Darnell Mooney in action.

Bears running back David Montgomery was named the winner of Good Morning Football's weekly "Angry Runs" award Monday after trucking Seahawks cornerback Sidney Jones on an 11-yard gain.

While the honor was well-deserved, one of Montgomery's teammates seemingly should have also garnered consideration. On the first play of the Bears' game-winning drive last Sunday in Seattle, receiver Darnell Mooney caught a pass 12 yards downfield and then picked up another 18 yards with an angry run of his own.

It took three Seahawks safeties to bring down the 5-11, 173-pounder: Mooney broke through an arm tackle by Ugo Amadi, eluded Ryan Neal with a lightning-quick stutter step and then dragged Quandre Diggs another two or three yards before being wrestled to the ground.

"[Montgomery] came up to me and he was like, 'You stole that out of my bag, didn't you?'" Mooney said. "And I was like, 'Yeah, man.' My mindset was, 'You're going to have to take me down all the way.' I just wanted to get us in the best position we can just to score the ball. We had an opportunity to score the ball and did so."

Known for his speed, route running and hands, Mooney takes just as much pride in his physicality, especially in terms of generating yards after contact.

"I try, every time I catch the ball or get an opportunity, to at least face the defenders, to make a play," Mooney said. "And whenever I have that chance or opportunity to do so, I try to make the most of it. Hopefully I can continuously do that throughout my career."

Nickel for your thoughts: Safety Eddie Jackson lined up at nickel back at times last Sunday in Seattle, just like he did in a Week 5 win over the Raiders so he could match up against tight end Darren Waller.

"That's when it came up, and then we just kind of shied away from it and then I was like, 'What's up? I like playing nickel,'" Jackson said. "You get more in the game, you know what I mean? You play closer to the line; it's like you're more involved. You get more targets, chances to make plays.

"And it's really nothing special, just going out there and winning your leverage and playing off of instincts, reacting and stuff. And it's fun, honestly. I like playing it. And also we get to put another safety back there; get Deon [Bush] in the game, probably Marqui [Christian], Teez [Tabor], you get other guys in the game, too, and so everyone has fun."

Jackson said that he hopes to continue to line up at nickel at times next season.

"I enjoy playing it," he said. "I embrace the role of playing it, being able to switch up, so I would hope so."

Nice gesture: Nagy opened his Zoom press conference Wednesday by offering condolences to the family of long-time ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson, who passed away Tuesday due to colon cancer at the age of 44. Dickerson's wife, Caitlin, passed away in 2019 due to cancer. His death leaves their 11-year-old son, Parker, without both of his parents.

"I want to start off by giving my thoughts and prayers to Jeff Dickerson's family and his son Parker," Nagy said. "Obviously, it's a tough day for all of us. We know how much Jeff meant to all of us. We all had different stories being with him. For me, I was able to have four good years being able to learn who he is as a person and get to hear his stories. And when I think about Jeff, I think about how positive he was, which we all talk about. He was always glass half-full. With me, he was always very supportive and respectful, which is pretty neat in this day and age to have somebody like that from the very start. And I appreciated that …

"The last thing is how proud he was of his son, Parker. I go back to thinking of all the stories of the conversations; before we had ever talked football, it was always about the baseball tournament that he was playing or the football game. It was just who he was."

The two Bears players who spoke to the media Wednesday via Zoom, Mooney and Jackson, also both opened their sessions by offering condolences to Dickerson's family and friends.

Injury update: Veteran left tackle Jason Peters returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis for the first time since sustaining an ankle injury Dec. 12 against the Packers. Nickel back Duke Shelley (heel) was the only player on the Bears' active roster who was held out of Wednesday's workout due to an injury.

Roster move: The Bears on Wednesday placed cornerback Xavier Crawford on injured reserve due to a concussion he sustained two-and-a-half weeks ago versus the Packers. The third-year pro appeared in the first 13 games this season with two starts, recording 11 tackles on defense and four on special teams.

The Bears spent a chilly afternoon on the practice fields at Halas Hall as they prepare to host the Giants at Soldier Field.

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