According to safety Eddie Jackson, Bears rookies take pride in contributing to their new team.
“That’s something we talk about amongst each other,” said the fourth-round pick from Alabama. “We have to go out there and play our part. Coach [John} Fox told us no one is too young to lead. We have to go out there and show those guys they can depend on us. They can hold us accountable for the things we do on and off the field.”
Jackson and running back Tarik Cohen will be joined on the field Monday night by fellow rookie Mitchell Trubisky, who will make his first NFL start at quarterback against the Vikings.
“I told him, ‘Good luck, be you. You know you’re ready for this. You worked hard for it,'” Jackson said. “He’s a humble guy. He sits back, works hard, doesn’t complain about anything. He’s ready to take advantage of his chance and we’re happy for him.”
“I told him I don’t feel like he needs to be a super hero,” Cohen said. “We’re in this together as a team and we’re going to be supporting.”
So far this season the Bears have received major contributions from two of their rookies. Cohen has rushed for 181 yards on 30 carries and caught 24 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown. The 24 receptions are the most by an NFL running back. Jackson, meanwhile, ranks third on the defense with 13 tackles.
“That’s something we planned on doing as soon as we got in here,” Cohen said. “Our director of player [engagement] Soup Campbell told us that we were going to have a shot to play. Whenever we got our number called, we were going to have to go out there and make plays,”
Bittersweet feeling: While he’s excited to see Trubisky make his first NFL start Monday night against the Vikings, Dowell Loggains is also disappointed that he wasn’t able to help veteran Mike Glennon perform better.
“It’s bittersweet in some ways because I feel for Mike Glennon, not being able to help him more and let him have mores success because he’s a pro,” said the Bears offensive coordinator. “He did everything the right way. The way he has taken this has been incredible. It speaks so much to his character, just the way he has helped Mitch.”
Starting the first four games of the season, Glennon completed 93 of 140 passes for 833 yards with four touchdowns, five interceptions and a 76.8 passer rating. Glennon, who will serve as the Bears’ No. 2 quarterback against the Vikings, committed eight turnovers in the last three games.
Fox appreciates how Glennon has handled the demotion, saying: “In any organization, you try to surround yourself with talented, high character people. In Mike’s case, he’s a high character guy, a good teammate. I don’t think he’ll be any different whether he’s with the first or second group.”
Tough opponent: Loggains worked as a scouting assistant with the Cowboys in 2005 when Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer served as the team’s defensive coordinator.
“I thought he was one of the best then and he’s gotten better every year,” Loggains said. “He’s one of the elite guys in the NFL. His defense is very tough. They take on his personality.”
The Vikings defense is led by defensive end Everson Griffen, who ranks fourth in the NFL with five sacks; cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith.
“I feel like they’re very aggressive, great tacklers,” said rookie running back Tarik Cohen. “Harrison Smith likes to come down and make good tackles, and they have Xavier Rhodes, a really good corner.”
Injury report: The only Bears player who did not practice Thursday was linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest). Defensive end Akiem Hicks (foot), outside linebacker Willie Young (triceps) and center/guard Hroniss Grasu (hand) were limited.
For the Vikings, safety Andrew Sendejo (shoulder/illness), defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (back) and tackle Rashod Hill (knee) did not practice, while quarterback Sam Bradford (knee) and linebacker Eric Kendricks (illness) were limited.