DeSean Jackson

Eagles’ DeSean Jackson Could Return In Playoffs

DeSean Jackson is expecting to re-join the Eagles if they advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, a source tells ESPN.com’s Tim McManus (on Twitter). The wide receiver already says he’s feeling good and he’s been flashing his trademark speed in rehab workouts. 

Because the Eagles placed DJax on IR, he wouldn’t be eligible to return from injured reserve until the second round of the postseason. The Birds could certainly use him – Alshon Jeffery is done for the year and Nelson Agholor remains questionable for Week 17 after missing the past three weeks with a knee injury.

Jackson underwent core muscle surgery in November, capping his 2019 season after just three games played. He has just nine catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

The Eagles sent the Buccaneers a sixth-round pick for Jackson, a 2008 second-rounder who rose to prominence in Philadelphia. After dominating in his first game back with Philly, Jackson could not shake his abdominal tear. Ultimately, doctors realized that rest wouldn’t cut it, so he had to go under the knife.

Realistically, Jackson is tied to the Eagles through at least 2020 thanks to his new three-year, $27MM deal with the team. He’s on their books through 2021, but the dead-money hit reduces to $5MM-plus after the ’20 season.

The Eagles can punch their ticket to the playoffs with a Week 17 win over the rival Giants. If they lose, they can still reach the playoffs if the Cowboys falter against the Redskins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Dak, D-Jax, Eagles, Giants

After a week of limited practices, two of which involving no throwing, Dak Prescott is no longer on the Cowboys‘ Week 16 injury report. Prescott will make his 63rd straight regular-season start Sunday. He participated in light throwing drills Friday, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. While Prescott’s status never seemed to be in doubt, his practice routine this week was notable. The former offensive rookie of the year had never previously been designated as limited during his four-year career.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, shifting first to the other team in Sunday’s marquee game.

  • Should the Eagles pull off the upset Sunday and then defeat the Giants in their regular-season finale, they would make the playoffs. If that happens, DeSean Jackson offered a glimmer of hope he could return from IR. Weeks after undergoing groin surgery, the 33-year-old wide receiver shared a workout video of him featuring sprints and agility drills (Instagram link). If Jackson does not experience any setbacks, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets he is on target to play once eligible. However, Jackson not being eligible until the divisional round may make this a moot point for the 7-7 Eagles. Philadelphia has Jackson and Alshon Jeffery on IR, and Nelson Agholor may be on the wrong end of questionable after not practicing all week.
  • Said upset will be a bit more difficult without Lane Johnson, who will miss a second straight game because of the high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 14. The Eagles declared their All-Pro right tackle out against the Cowboys. Johnson has missed two games this season, the first due to a concussion. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will draw the start.
  • Golden Tate‘s 2020 salary was to be guaranteed, but because of the PED suspension the Giants wideout received, he now could be a cut candidate. The 31-year-old receiver, whose $7.98MM base salary next year is no longer guaranteed, addressed this prospect this week. “There’s not 100% certainty in really anything,” Tate said, via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy. “I definitely hope and plan to be here. I think I’ve proven to be a solid leader for our locker room. I feel like I’ve been productive, and I haven’t shown a decline. But I don’t know what people upstairs think.” Rookie fifth-rounder Darius Slayton‘s emergence will likely play a role in the team’s decision. Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Tate are all signed through at least the 2022 season.

Eagles Notes: Johnson, Ajayi, Mills

Let’s take a quick look at a few items from the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Eagles starting RT Lane Johnson is in the concussion protocol, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson suffered a head injury during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, and while he tried to play through it, the injury worsened and he was ultimately forced to exit (Twitter link via McLane).
  • The Eagles can ill afford to lose Johnson, arguably the best right tackle in football, as they fight for the NFC East title. But if they are without Johnson for any period of time, they could turn to rookie Andre Dillard rather than veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai, as McLane tweets.
  • Jay Ajayi finally found an NFL home for 2019 when he signed with the Eagles on Friday. Interestingly, the deal includes a right of first refusal for 2020, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. So if it wants, Philadelphia can match any offer Ajayi receives on the open market, which could be significant if the team lets Jordan Howard walk in free agency.
  • Cornerback Jalen Mills is eligible for free agency this offseason, and while he is not perfect, he has been very good since returning from injury in Week 7, and McLane says Mills may be playing his way into a second contract with the Eagles (Twitter link).
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com believes the Eagles need to completely overhaul their WR corps this offseason, and he offers a few names the club could target in free agency and the draft. He also says the Eagles could find a trade partner for Alshon Jeffery and/or DeSean Jackson, though obviously the returns on either player would be minimal.

NFC East Rumors: DJax, Cowboys, Peters

Here’s a look at the NFC East:

  • The Eagles have yet another medical controversy on their hands with the DeSean Jackson situation, as Les Bowen of the Inquirer writes. The Eagles allowed Jackson to try to heal his core muscle tear through rest and rehab, but medical sources say it’s rare for an explosive athlete like Jackson to be able to function effectively without surgery.
  • On Wednesday, Cowboys defensive lineman Daniel Ross was arrested on Possession of Marijuana and Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon charges, according to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas News (on Twitter). Ross, 26, appeared in 13 games for the Cowboys last year but has been on IR this season due to a shoulder injury.
  • Jason Peters will regain his left tackle job once he’s healthy and back in the regular lineup, head coach Doug Pederson says (via E.J. Smith of The Inquirer). The 37-year-old has missed three straight games with a knee injury, but ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 9 tackle this year.

DeSean Jackson To Undergo Surgery

UPDATE, 3:39pm, 11/5/19: The Eagles ended up placing Jackson on injured reserve, the team announced on Twitter. The receiver could potentially return for a playoff run, although it seems more likely that his season is over. He’ll likely end the 2019 campaign having appeared in just one full game plus a couple of snaps last week.

2:40pm, 11/4/19: Following a two-touchdown Week 1, DeSean Jackson has seen an injury define his 2019 season. The premier deep threat’s rebound opportunity will have to wait, and such a chance may not happen at all this year.

Jackson will undergo core muscle surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Jackson returned to action after six missed games Sunday but aggravated the abdominal injury that has plagued him for weeks.

While it’s certainly not a lock Jackson will play again this season, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) this surgery is expected to sideline him for at least six weeks. That would put a possible late-regular-season return, or a playoff cameo should the Eagles get that far, in play. Still, this is a blow for an Eagles passing game that peaked in Week 1 with Jackson healthy.

The Eagles sent the Buccaneers a sixth-round pick for Jackson, a 2008 second-rounder who rose to prominence in Philadelphia. After dominating in his first game back with Philly, Jackson could not shake this injury he suffered in Atlanta. While the team initially decided to treat this injury with rehab, the parties opted for surgery after the aggravation.

Jackson had one season remaining on his Bucs contract at the time of the trade, but he and the Eagles agreed on a three-year, $27MM deal shortly after. Realistically, Jackson is tied to the Eagles through at least 2020. He’s on their books through 2021, but the dead-money hit reduces to $5MM-plus after the ’20 season.

Philadelphia has struggled to generate consistent play from its receivers. Jackson replacement Mack Hollins and Nelson Agholor have contributed little to the cause in weeks, with Alshon Jeffery averaging just 10.8 yards per reception.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Eagles, Haskins, Jets, Giants

With the Giants both buying and hoping to sell at this year’s deadline, after making their first trade with the Jets, here’s the latest from the NFC East with barely 24 hours remaining for 2019 trade talks:

  • Now that the Eagles are back at .500, they are considering being buyers before Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline. After their double-digit win in Buffalo, the Eagles could be in play for “something fun” before this year’s deadline, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Eagles have been linked to cornerbacks, being the Jalen Ramsey silver medalists, and may be in need at wide receiver. Although, Doug Pederson said DeSean Jackson is expected to practice this week.
  • Adrian Peterson may or may not have directly addressed Dwayne Haskins‘ performance issues with the rookie quarterback, with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reporting the veteran Redskins running back told Haskins after Thursday night’s loss to study the playbook more thoroughly (video link). While not denying he went to Haskins directly, Peterson addressed the matter on Twitter by saying he believes in the first-round prospect. In two relief appearances, Haskins has thrown no touchdown passes and four interceptions this season.
  • The conditional 2021 fifth-rounder the Giants dealt to the Jets for Leonard Williams would become a fourth-rounder if the G-Men extend Williams before free agency, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes. While the Giants may have a wink-wink agreement in place with Williams, in order to sign him after the start of the 2020 league year to preserve that fourth-round pick, that’s far from certain — especially for a player who has struggled in recent years.
  • While the Giants acquired Williams, they are also looking unload Janoris Jenkins and Alec Ogletree.

Injury Updates: Packers, Adams, Cardinals

No surprise here, but Davante Adams will miss another game this week, per the Packers‘ final injury report. This marks the wide receiver’s third-straight missed contest as he rehabs from a toe ailment.

Adams had a strong start to the season with 25 receptions for 378 yards before going down and seemed on his way to matching last year’s 111/1,386 posting. The Packers were able to get past the Lions without him and they’ll aim to do the same against the Raiders.

Here’s the latest on other bumps and bruises from around the NFL:

  • Uh oh – Cardinals running back David Johnson is dealing with a new injury. After tweaking his back against Atlanta, Johnson will be a game time decision thanks to a sore ankle, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters.
  • The Cowboys will have offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and cornerback Byron Jones are set to play on Sunday against the Eagles, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. All five are listed as questionable for the game, but they took the practice field and Friday and should be good to go.
  • The Eagles, on the other hand, will try to fly without: linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), cornerback Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck), tackle Jason Peters (knee), and running back Darren Sproles (quadricep).
  • Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to return on Sunday against the Colts, per the club’s injury report.

Injury Notes: 9/20/19

Here are the latest significant injury-related notes from around the league:

  • Marshall Newhouse, whom the Patriots signed last week, will serve as the club’s starting left tackle until Isaiah Wynn returns, per Doug Kyed of NESN.com (via Twitter).
  • As expected, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will not play in Week 3, but the club is still optimistic about the availability of Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets.
  • Buccaneers LB Devin White will not play this weekend, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out of the concussion protocol and will play in Week 3 per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (via PFT). Rookie QB Daniel Jones will be making his first start, so Shepard’s presence will be especially helpful.
  • The Seahawks are getting closer to full strength, as both WR David Moore and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah are expected to play in Week 3, per Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk. We had already heard that Ansah was likely to make his Seattle debut this weekend, but Moore’s return is earlier than expected, even after we learned at the end of August that he would avoid IR.
  • Top Jets defenders C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams are not expected to play this week, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. The Week 3 outlook is also bleak for WR Demaryius Thomas and LB Jordan Jenkins.
  • Tyler Kroft‘s Bills debut may be put on hold for awhile longer. Kroft was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, but as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, Buffalo HC Sean McDermott told reporters that Kroft injured his ankle in Thursday’s practice and will undergo further evaluation.

Latest On DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has an abdominal strain that is expected to sideline him for about two weeks, sources tell ESPN’s Tim McManus. Making matters worse, Philadelphia is unlikely to have Alshon Jeffery in Week 3. Both suffered injuries against the Falcons.

It is unclear when the injury actually occurred, but Jackson was not listed on the Eagles’ Week 2 injury report. However, he felt discomfort during warmups and only played 11 snaps on offense against the Falcons before exiting. Jeffery is dealing with a calf strain. Although not considered major, Jeffery’s status for the Eagles’ Week 3-4 games — which occur in a 10-day span — is in some doubt, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

Jackson had originally hoped to play this Sunday against the Lions, but the Eagles will undoubtedly remain cautious with their speedster. The veteran logged eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns in Philadelphia’s Week 1 victory against the Redskins. His presence as a deep threat is extremely valuable to the offense.

With Jackson and Jeffery both potentially out for two weeks, the Eagles are down to three healthy receivers on their 53-man roster: Nelson AgholorMack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Arcega-Whiteside and Hollins played 93% and 85% of the snaps last week, respectively, due to the injuries to Jackson and Jeffery.

In the interim, the Eagles could look to promote either Greg Ward or Marcus Green from their practice squad, along with potentially signing ex-Eagle free agent Jordan Matthews. Matthews, who had three productive years for the organization between 2014 and 2016, was among the final cuts for the 49ers this past August. Matthews worked out for the Saints on Tuesday.

Eagles’ DeSean Jackson To Miss Time?

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson fractured his ring finger and has been told that he will need 3-4 weeks to recover, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. The Eagles’ season begins in less than two weeks, so DJax could potentially miss time.

However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says that the team is not concerned about the injury, which is to Jackson’s left (non-dominant) ring finger, and that Jackson is not expected to miss any game action (Twitter link). Tim McManus of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that Jackson will see a hand specialist Wednesday as a precaution, but the Eagles are confident in his Week 1 availability. 

Nothing is settled yet on Jackson’s status and it’s conceivable that he could try to play before he is fully healed. Tomorrow, Jackson will try out a custom-made splint, which could give him some indication as to whether he can play through the injury.

The Eagles acquired Jackson via trade with the Buccaneers in March and promptly gave him a new three-year, $27MM deal with $13MM guaranteed. They say that speed fades with time, but Jackson remains one of the league’s most potent deep threats.

After being selected in the second round of the 2008 draft, Jackson played his first six NFL seasons with the Eagles. He earned three Pro Bowls during his tenure in Philly, including a 2013 campaign where he finished with nine touchdowns and a career-high 1,332 receiving yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.