Bears safety Eddie Jackson's historic day occurs on anniversary of injury

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The date Oct. 22 holds special significance to Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson.

The former Alabama Crimson Tide star’s college career abruptly ended on Oct. 22, 2016 when Jackson suffered a broken leg returning a punt in the fourth quarter of Alabama’s 33-14 victory over Texas A&M.

One year to the day, Jackson -- selected by Chicago in the fourth-round of the 2017 NFL draft -- became the first player in NFL history to have two 75-plus yard defensive touchdowns in the same game during the Bears’ 17-3 upset victory over Carolina.

"I’ve dealt with adversity before, and that’s one thing I can credit Alabama on," Jackson said on Sunday. "They help you fight through adversity. I’ve been through a lot of stuff in my life, so that was just a minor steppingstone.

Jackson personally staked the Bears to a 14-0 lead in Week 7. On the game’s opening drive, he scooped up a live ball that bounced off the hands of Carolina's Curtis Samuel -- officially scored as a fumble by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton -- and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown.

Jackson struck again in the second quarter, when he intercepted a deflected Newton pass intended for Kelvin Benjamin and took it back 76 yards for a score.

"You know the guys up front they did a great job of putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing him to make mistakes," Jackson said.

Jackson’s been a mainstay in Chicago’s starting defensive backfield after he beat out free safety Adrian Amos at the tail end of the preseason. Amos has since returned to the lineup with Quintin Demps on injured reserve.

"He’s a tremendous young guy, as well as a young player," coach John Fox said. "I think we saw it early on. We have some good young players on both sides of the ball. Eddie showed those things to the coaching staff and to his teammates early on, and now you all get to see it."

As to the significance of Jackson’s one-year anniversary, Fox replied, "I don’t think Eddie was even aware of that. Those are the kinds of things you want to forget."

"[But] it’s probably a much brighter spot in his mind than the other one [in 2016]."