The Chicago Bears lost Jack Sanborn for the rest of the 2022 season. Fortunately for them, they were able to get a long enough look at Sanborn from Weeks nine through 15. By most measures, Sanborn did enough to step into the 2023 season as a starter.
What did the numbers show from this season, and does it match what we saw from him on the field?
5. Jack Sanborn was active in Chicago Bears’ run defense
When the Chicago Bears drafted Sanborn, one of the biggest things he was praised for was his ability to tackle. We saw him immediately make the roster because he was so good at special teams. Special teams combine his best traits of taking good angles and making solid tackles.
With that in mind, he was also great as a run defender. In his limited starting time, he recorded 64 tackles and five tackles for loss. That also included 16 run stops, per PFF. That ranked third in the NFL amongst all linebackers from weeks 9 through 15.
He also ranked fourth in run stop rate, with a 10.7% rate. So, it was not just that he was playing often, he was making run stops throughout the game, and doing it at an impressive rate.
When you combine his run-stop ability, with his special team’s ability and his college reputation, things are starting to add up that this is exactly the type of player the team should have expected. Still, there are also reasons why he fell to a UDFA level.