By Michael Bennett
So, is that all there is from DeSean Jackson?
Or ever will be for the Eagles in 2019?
The 32-year-old burner was brought to Philly to add an element of length to the Eagles’ ordinary passing game.
An he looked great in the opener against the Redskins two months ago:
Eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
He pulled an abdominal muscle in Week 2 and had been gone ever since.
He came back yesterday to great fanfare.
And got hurt again!
He returned to the sideline but never entered the game. Pederson said that decision was “precautionary,” but the bottom line is Jackson didn’t finish the game.
“The plan was to play him obviously, so we’ll have some more testing done in the morning,” Pederson said. “I’ll probably have a better update on him (Monday), but the plan was to play him.”
Speaking with reporters on Friday, Jackson wouldn’t answer whether the injury kept him out for longer than initially expected. Pederson remained supportive of Jackson throughout the absence because the team didn’t want to rush him back. However, the Eagles elected to play him yesterday instead of waiting until after the bye week. The thinking: If Jackson was healthy enough to play, he’d play. Plus, he’d have extra time to recover.
Jackson was clearly part of the game plan; Wentz threw to him on the first offensive play and twice on the opening drive.
“He was only out there a little bit, but it was a spark when he was, regardless of what he was doing,” Wentz said. “Hopefully, he’ll be fine and we’ll get him back out there.”
When the Eagles signed Jackson, they knew it’d be unlikely that the 32-year-old would play 16 games. It hasn’t happened since 2013. But they’re nine games into the season and Jackson has finished one. The offense doesn’t have an adequate replacement for him. Mack Hollins, his primary backup, hasn’t caught a pass since September. (Of course, Hollins is the last option on most plays, which is why the Eagles made a questionable decision making him Jackson’s backup in the first place, given Jackson’s injury history.)
More information will come on Monday, but it was not a good sign that Jackson left the game with the same injury. The good news for the Eagles is there’s time to rest. They need more good news, though, because the offense is different without Jackson. And they’ve too often played without him.
“He’s a big weapon for us, but we want to get him healthy, where he’s going full speed and feeling right,” tackle Lane Johnson said. “That time will come.”