LAKE FOREST – One of the best stories during a difficult 2022 season for the Bears has been the emergence of a rookie linebacker with Chicago-area roots.
But that storyline is going to come to an end a little short of the finish of the regular season.
During his news conference on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s game with the Bills, head coach Matt Eberflus said that linebacker Jack Sanborn will be placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
With four weeks needed to return from IR and just three games remaining, it will keep him out for the rest of the 2022 season. Sanborn suffered the injury in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Eagles at Soldier Field.
This brings an end to what was an impressive rookie season for the native of Lake Zurich, who arrived with the team as an undrafted free agent from Wisconsin and eventually became a starter.
He got his shot with the Bears’ first team defense after the trade of Roquan Smith to the Ravens, starting his first game against the Dolphins on November 6 at Soldier Field.
Since then, Sanborn became a steady presence in the Bears’ defense, making 64 tackles in 14 games with two sacks and a fumble recovery. That included a 15-tackle performance against the Jets in Week 12 at Met Life Stadium, the fifth-most in a game in team history.
“His maturity, his ability to handle that space,” said Ebeflus when asked about what impressed him about Sanborn in his rookie season. “Then the production. He had a lot of tackling production. His instincts, we saw that during training camp. He’s an impactful player and we’re excited to have him.”
As Sanborn exits for the season, running back Khalil Herbert was designated to return from injured reserve as he looks to play in the final three games of the season. The running back, who rushed for 643 yards, was injured late in the November 13 loss to the Lions at Soldier Field.