LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Linebacker Roquan Smith, safety Eddie Jackson and other Chicago Bears defensive players felt ready to begin hitting last week when organized team activities ended.
Bears Draft Preview Capsule
87. CHICAGO (12-5)
LAST SEASON: Bears made huge jump in first season under coach Matt Nagy, winning NFC North at 12-4 after four straight last-place finishes. Season ended with playoff loss...
With 44 newbies, Pro Bowl could be more intense than usual
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Chicago Bears safety and Pro Bowl newcomer Eddie Jackson posed the same question to several veterans this week: What's the tempo of practices and the game?
"They told me, 'If you go out there and pull a hamstring, you're going too hard,'" Jackson said.
It wasn't exactly the definitive answer Jackson was looking for, but it gave him some insight into what to expect and how to perform in the league's annual all-star event Sunday.
Bears hire former Steeler Townsend to coach defensive backs
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have hired former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend as defensive backs coach.
Townsend played on two Super Bowl championship teams with Pittsburgh and has spent eight years on NFL and college staffs. He was the New York Giants' assistant defensive backs coach this season.
Bears hire Pagano as defensive coordinator to replace Fangio
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears rode a dominant defense to the NFC North championship in a breakout season. They hope to keep it going with a new coordinator.
The Bears hired former Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano to replace Vic Fangio on Friday, hoping he can help them build on what they accomplished this season.
Bears tight end Trey Burton sidelined by groin injury
CHICAGO (AP) — Bears tight end Trey Burton is inactive for Chicago's playoff game against Philadelphia after he was a late add to the team's injury report.
The NFC North champion Bears announced Burton's groin injury Saturday night, and they listed him as questionable.
The 27-year-old Burton spent his first three NFL seasons with the Eagles. He signed a $32 million, four-year contract with Chicago in March.
Burton set career highs with 54 receptions for 569 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Bears safety Eddie Jackson questionable for playoff game
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears will wait until right before game time for Sunday's playoff matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles to make a determination on the availability of safety Eddie Jackson.
Jackson was officially listed as questionable Friday on the final injury report after he went through a second straight limited practice. He hasn't had a full practice since before the Dec. 16 game against Green Bay when he suffered a right ankle injury.
Bears rule out Jackson, Lynch for game against 49ers
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The NFC North champion Chicago Bears have ruled out injured Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Aaron Lynch out for their game at San Francisco on Sunday.
The Bears said Saturday neither player traveled with the team.
Bears clinch NFC North with 24-17 victory over Packers
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears clinched the NFC North and helped knock Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers out of playoff contention.
They could not have asked for a sweeter scenario.
Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Jackson ended Rodgers' NFL-record streak without an interception and Chicago clinched the division with a 24-17 victory over the Packers on Sunday.
Bears clinch 1st playoff berth since 2010, beat Packers
CHICAGO (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Jackson ended Aaron Rodgers' NFL-record streak without an interception and the Chicago Bears clinched the NFC North with a 24-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
The Bears (10-4) secured their first playoff appearance since the 2010 team won the division, and clinching with a rare victory over their heated rivals made it all the more sweet.
Dolphins’ Gore injures left ankle against Vikings
Miami's Frank Gore hurt his left ankle on the second-to-last play of the first quarter and didn't return to the Dolphins' loss at Minnesota on Sunday.
Gore, the NFL's active rushing leader, had five carries for 14 yards in Miami's 41-17 loss.
Backup defensive tackle Ziggy Hood (hamstring) limped off the field at the end of the third quarter.
The Latest: Steelers beat Pats for first time since ’11
The Latest on NFL's Week 15 (all times Eastern):
The Pittsburgh Steelers have beaten the New England Patriots for the first time since 2011.
The Steelers' 17-10 win at Heinz Field kept the Steelers (8-5-1) ahead of the Ravens (8-6) in the NFC North. A loss would have put them on the outside of the playoff picture with two weeks remaining.
The Patriots were denied their 10th consecutive AFC East title.
Stafford’s 2 interceptions sink Lions in loss to Chicago
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions were the team with the healthy starting quarterback, but in the end, Matthew Stafford came up short.
Bears beat Vikings 25-20, tighten grip on NFC North
CHICAGO (AP) — No doubt about it now, the Bears really are serious about winning the NFC North.
Khalil Mack had a sack and fumble recovery, Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown and Chicago tightened its grip on the division with a 25-20 victory over the second-place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.
Mack and Jackson led a dominant effort by the defense. And Chicago (7-3) took a big step toward its first division championship since 2010.
Chicago Bears rout turnover-prone Buffalo Bills 41-9
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Linebacker Khalil Mack broke into a wide grin when it was pointed out the Chicago Bears defense didn't need him for a second straight week.
"Ha, I might be looking for another job here soon," Mack told The Associated Press.
Sidelined by a right ankle injury, Mack had plenty of reason to joke.
Bears DE Hicks fined $33,425 by NFL for bumping official
NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks has been fined $33,425 by the NFL for bumping an official in last Sunday's win over Tampa Bay.
Hicks was not suspended although he was ejected from the Bucs game.
Hicks pushed down judge Mike Carr while he was attempting to separate Hicks and Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet after Eddie Jackson intercepted a pass.
LeBron James’ company says Alabama’s barbershop-based video is copyright infringement
LeBron James' media platform Uninterrupted has sent a letter to the University of Alabama athletic department calling a planned video seriescopyright and intellectual propertyinfringement.
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Breaking down the Bears' 20-10 loss to the Detroit Lions Saturday, which clinched their fourth straight season with at least 10 losses.
THREE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
1. After forcing a fumble to set up a field goal just before halftime, the Bears were primed to cut into their 13-3 deficit to start the second half. Instead, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was picked off by Darius Slay on the second play of the third quarter, and the Lions then quickly extended their advantage to 20-3.
Defense making big plays to lead Bears to back-back wins
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks had just sacked Carolina's Cam Newton.
Then he paid tribute to an injured teammate.
Hicks waved his arms as if he were casting a fishing rod, just as outside linebacker Willie Young does when he's the one taking down the quarterback.
Bears defenders have reeled in plenty of big plays the past two weeks, enough to carry Chicago to back-to-back wins.
Bears beat Panthers for consecutive wins, match 2016 total
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears managed to string back-to-back victories for the first time since 2015 and matched last season's win total.
Coach John Fox wasn't sure what to make of that.
"I don't know if that's really a benchmark for us, to be honest," he said.
Considering the Bears went 3-13 a year ago, matching last year's win total isn't exactly a huge accomplishment. Even so, they'll take the victories that are starting to come their way.
Jackson’s 2 defensive TDs lead Bears past Panthers 17-3
CHICAGO (AP) — Rookie safety Eddie Jackson turned a painful anniversary into a record-setting afternoon.
He scooped up a loose ball and corralled a tipped pass. And with two long touchdown returns, he made NFL history.
Jackson became the first player to score multiple defensive TDs of 75 yards or more in a game, leading the Chicago Bears to a 17-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. He's also the only rookie in NFL history with two 75-yard defensive touchdowns in a season.
Quintin Demps, veterans bring stability to Bears secondary
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Safety Quintin Demps often resembles a player-coach for the Chicago Bears in practice while answering questions from young defensive backs.
A defensive secondary badly in need of a facelift received one during the offseason, and Demps is part of the answer to how more turnovers can be generated.
"I give my share of wisdom here and there for sure," Demps said. "I've been around a little bit, so I know a little bit about the game.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — First-round draft pick Mitchell Trubisky naturally commands attention in Bears training camp.
Yet, Trubisky is only one of several rookies to make positive impressions on coaches heading into their first preseason action against the Denver Broncos.
On almost a daily basis, tight end Adam Shaheen, running back Tarik Cohen and safety Eddie Jackson have come up with big plays. Now it's on to prove they can do it before a big crowd at Soldier Field on Thursday night.
Former Montana quarterback Brady Gustafson called his rookie mini camp audition in Chicago a "good experience for sure," but he left the tryout without an NFL contract.
Gustafson confirmed to the Missoulian via text message Monday afternoon that he had not heard anything further from the Bears.
Alabama loses DB Tony Brown for targeting flag
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama defensive back Tony Brown has been ejected for targeting.
Brown was flagged for a block during a punt return for the top-ranked Crimson Tide late in the first quarter against No. 16 Auburn. Because it was called in the first half, he'll be able to play in the Southeastern Conference championship game against No. 13 Florida next week.
Jackson’s injury shows risk of returning for senior year
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — There's not always a right-or-wrong answer to the question of whether they should stay or go, even with hindsight.
Just ask Alabama senior safety Eddie Jackson, the Crimson Tide's All-American safety who elected to bypass the NFL draft following last season and return for his senior year — only to have that season cut short by a broken left leg last week.
Saban: Eddie Jackson has successful surgery to repair leg
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama safety Eddie Jackson had surgery to repair a fractured left leg.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Tuesday that the operation "went really, really well." Saban says Jackson shouldn't have any problems in the future and had overcome a similar but unrelated injury early in his career with No. 1 Alabama.
Saban: Alabama safety Eddie Jackson out for season
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban says star safety Eddie Jackson is out for the season with a fractured leg.
Jackson didn't return to the top-ranked Crimson Tide's 33-14 win Saturday over No. 6 Texas A&M following a fourth-quarter punt return.
Fans chanted "Eddie" as Jackson was taken into the locker room on a cart moments after the Tide scored its final touchdown.
Alabama’s Fitzpatrick turning small details into big plays
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Minkah Fitzpatrick is normally the kind of disciplined defensive back Alabama coach Nick Saban likes.
But the top-ranked Crimson Tide's sophomore cornerback momentarily put that relationship to the test when he decided to run out an interception from the back of the end zone against Arkansas.
"The first thing I thought was, 'Oh no,'" Saban said. "And then after he got to about the 10-yard line, I said, 'He may go all the way.' So it worked well."
Alabama, LSU lead way on coaches preseason All-SEC teams
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — SEC West rivals Alabama and LSU each had 13 players make the coaches preseason all-conference teams.
The Crimson Tide had three players picked as first-teamers on each side of the ball Thursday, including wide receiver Calvin Ridley, left tackle Cam Robinson, tight end O.J. Howard, defensive end Jonathan Allen, safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Reuben Foster. Punter JK Scott is also a first-teamer.