Eagles’ starting defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan underwent surgery on a herniated disc in his back last week, league sources tell Field Yates and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Recovery from that operation will take a while and he is expected to be out for four-to-six months.
Even in a best case scenario, Jernigan’s availability for the season opener is in jeopardy. If it takes Jernigan closer to six months to recover, he could wind up missing the first half of the season
The good news for the Eagles is that they have a solid Plan B for Jernigan after signing Haloti Ngata this offseason. If Jernigan misses time, the Eagles will still have a formidable front four with Brandon Graham and Michael Bennett at defensive end with Ngata and Fletcher Cox in the middle.
The Eagles acquired Jernigan from the Ravens last April by moving down 25 spots in the third round of the draft. That proved to be a brilliant move for the Eagles, who later signed him to a four-year, $48MM extension.
Meanwhile, the Eagles and Jernigan have agreed to revise that contract, Yates reports (on Twitter). The final three years on the defensive tackle’s contract are now option years with no guaranteed money. The Eagles, he writes, will evaluate his health as part of the decision going forward.
Jernigan remains slated to carry a $5MM cap charge in 2018. He’ll carry cap hits of $13MM, $14MM, and $14MM in the following three seasons if he remains on board.