Eddie Jackson was having one of the best seasons of his career in 2022. It was right on par with the 2018 campaign that saw him make All-Pro. Even though he went down with a season-ending foot injury, it was reasonable to expect the Chicago Bears safety would still get consideration for the Pro Bowl. Sadly, it didn’t come to pass. Jackson was not one of the three safeties selected as starters for this year’s squad. Those spots went to Quandre Diggs, Budda Baker, and Talanoa Hufanga.
The biggest shock of those three is Diggs. While he’s been a well-deserved Pro Bowler in the past, his case compared to Jackson’s is sketchy. Eddie has more interceptions (4-2), pass breakups (6-5), tackles (80-65) and forced fumbles (2-1) despite Diggs playing in two extra games to this point. If that weren’t bad enough, a player on the roster missed six games this season. That is T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He only has four sacks this season, yet that didn’t stop him from getting the nod.
Needless to say, Jackson isn’t happy about it.
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Eddie Jackson has a right to be upset.
He played more games than Watt and put up better numbers than Diggs. It’s hard not to feel like he was punished for playing on a bad team. With the Bears being 3-11, it’s easy for voters to overlook what Jackson accomplished, even though that isn’t how the Pro Bowl works. It is supposed to celebrate individual excellence. That is the entire point. It is another reminder that the voting process remains flawed. If nothing else, Jackson has plenty of motivation to come back even better in 2023.
He won’t require surgery on his injured foot. That means barring a setback, he will be 100% ready to go by training camp next summer. It won’t be surprising if he has a far more talented defense waiting for him when the time comes. Expectations are the Bears will devote massive resources to upgrading their front seven, especially the defensive line. If GM Ryan Poles succeeds in this task, Eddie Jackson has a chance to duplicate or even top what he accomplished this year.