Mack shoots straight: Donald ‘1 of the best’
Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack didn’t see fit to make comparisons between himself and Aaron Donald on Friday.
But that doesn’t mean he lacks appreciation for the Rams defensive tackle, whom he called “one of the best in the league.”
“You can’t really compare an edge guy and an inside guy, but when you talk about his motor, there’s nothing like it,” Mack said. “It jumps out on film.”
Soldier Field will be the showcase Sunday night for two of the best and highest-paid defensive players in the NFL as the Bears play host the Rams. Donald, who leads the NFL with a whopping 16½ sacks, signed his six-year, $135 million contract this offseason one day before Mack topped him with a six-year, $141 million contract with the Bears.
“Seeing somebody get what they earned is always
a blessing,” Mack said Friday of Donald’s contract. “I mean, you (couldn’t) really get excited at that point, but I was just ready to play football again.”
Donald and the Rams defense will get a Bears offense back at full strength after quarterback Mitch Trubisky practiced in full for a third straight day Friday. After missing two games with a right shoulder injury, Trubisky is in line to start for the first time since he helped the Bears beat the Vikings in their last Sunday night game Nov. 18.
Meanwhile, Mack, who has nine sacks and five forced fumbles, will be charged with helping to stop a Rams offense averaging 439.9 yards per game. That includes 139.4 yards on the ground, driven by NFL rushing leader Todd Gurley.
“It takes all 11 players on defense getting to the ball,” Mack said of stopping Gurley. “One of the best backs in the league. It’s a tough challenge for us.
The Rams, who clinched the NFC West last week, can clinch a first-round playoff bye with a victory Sunday. The Bears are looking to extend their NFC North lead over the Vikings.
“It's never about being good enough,” Mack said. “It's about winning ballgames, and doing whatever it takes by any means to put yourself in a position to win. And us being dominant is something that's obviously the goal.”
Injury report: Bears safety Eddie Jackson didn’t practice Friday because of a shin injury and is questionable for Sunday’s game. Coach Matt Nagy said it was “a little bit of a rest day” for Jackson because the Bears practiced inside on the turf and added there is “nothing major there at all.”
Defensive lineman Bilal Nichols also was limited in practice with a knee issue, as he usually is on Fridays when the Bears practice indoors. He is questionable.
Backup safety Deon Bush, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, didn’t practice and is doubtful.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, sacking Aaron Rodgers, leads the NFL with 16 1/2.