The Chicago Bears got three key pieces back this offseason in safety Eddie Jackson, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, and linebacker Jack Sanborn. All of them had their 2022 campaigns cut short by injuries.
Mooney and Sanborn were both coming back from ankle injuries while Jackson’s ailment was with his foot.
Sanborn spoke on what it was like rehabbing with Jackson and Mooney.
Jack Sanborn Opens Up About Bears’ Teammates
Jack Sanborn: ‘It Was Huge’ Having Teammates Around During Rehab
“[It was] good because, in the offseason, not a lot of people are… around the building – staff included. So it’s kind of us and then a couple trainers each week,” Sanborn said. “It was huge to just have people with you that were kind of going through everything the same, all three of us. And kind of just work with each other and push each other and stuff like that.”
Mooney – who said he was going to have surgery anyway before getting hurt in Week 12 – specifically noted Jackson’s impact on him to Kaitlin Sharkey and Rick Tarsitano of WGN in July.
“I’ve learned a lot being able to sit down,” Mooney said. “You can’t really do too much. Rehabbing my ankle, especially with Eddie, being able to talk through some life things – it’s been amazing.”
Jackson – who also went down in Week 12 versus the New York Jets – said it was mutual.
“I feel like we helped each other to be honestly speaking,” Jackson said after practice at Halas Hall on July 25. “Jack…was clear first, and then I was clear next, and then Mooney was after us. So it’s just motivation for each other…it was huge for all of us to have each other in here.”
Sanborn agreed with Jackson’s sentiments adding that it would have been a different experience without the others. The former went down in Week 15 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I think it was a good thing,” Sanborn said. “It would have been a lot different if I was the only one there, or if Darnell was the only one there, or if Eddie was the only one there. I think it would have been different for all of us. So to have those two guys there, and see the work that they put in each day to try to get back, try to get healthy and everything like that, I think it was good.”
All three players figure to start at their respective positions. However, how much if at all they will play in the preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans is unclear. It’s just Week 1 of the preseason and teams tend to take a more cautious approach to injuries.
Jackson has been healthy all camp while Mooney and Sanborn have ramped their way back into the swing of things.
Bears Navigating Numerous Injuries
While plans for the aforementioned trio remain unclear, some faces are all but locks to miss the preseason opener, chief among them being starters Jaquan Brisker, Tremaine Edmunds, and Nate Davis. Wide receiver Chase Claypool also figures to be in that mix if not extremely limited if he does suit up after tweaking something in practice last week.
That is a lot of key pieces set to be absent on Saturday. But, as coaches have been preaching, they expect the guys to return sooner rather than later.
With a Week 1 tilt against the rival Green Bay Packer on the docket, that would be ideal.