The Chicago Bears were hopeful they had found a diamond in the rough when they snagged safety Eddie Jackson in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it’s unlikely they knew just how fortunate they had gotten.
Jackson, who starred at the University of Alabama before breaking his leg in his final collegiate season, was a monster for the Bears on Sunday, returning a fumble for a touchdown and then bringing an interception return back for a score as the Bears beat the Carolina Panthers 17-3 at Soldier Field.
Thanks to that effort, Jackson was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday, becoming the first Bears rookie to win that honor since Kyle Fuller did it after a game against the San Francisco 49’ers in 2014.
Jackson, whose monster game came on the one-year anniversary of his broken leg, is also the first Bears player to win Defensive Player of the Week honors since Akiem Hicks was honored after his performance against San Francisco last season.
The game was an historic one for Jackson, who became the first player in NFL history to have two defensive touchdowns of 75 yards or more in the same game. His fumble return for a touchdown, 75 yards in length, made it a 7-0 game, and his interception return of 76 yards made it 14-0 in favor of the Bears.
That was all Chicago needed, as they won their second straight game and brought themselves to within one game of the .500 mark.