By Michael Donovan
If you believe Eagles coach Doug Pederson yesterday:
He’s “still optimistic” defensive tackle Tim Jernigan will make his 2018 debut against the Saints.
The former Baltimore Ravens end wasearlier this month after undergoing offseason surgery for a herniated disc. And while Pederson wouldn’t confirm Jernigan is beyond “day-to-day” status entering the weekend, the veteran seems on track to play after working with the starters in recent practices.
Acquired in a trade with the Ravens before 2017, Jernigan had a starring role on the Eagles’ championship team. While his production trailed off after he inked a four-year contract extension, he helped the team rank among the NFL’s best in run defense alongside Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox. This year he’s yet to take a snap, spending the Eagles’ first nine games on the reserve/non-football injury list.
His return would be a welcome one for a defense battered by injuries and especially lacking at defensive tackle, where only Cox has had a steady impact along the interior.