DeSean Jackson

Eagles Activate WR DeSean Jackson

DeSean Jackson is back. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Eagles are activating the wideout from IR. The veteran is expected to play against the Cowboys tomorrow.

After being limited to only three games in 2019, Jackson has once again been hampered by injuries in 2020. After appearing in Philly’s first three games, he was sidelined for three weeks by a hamstring injury. He suffered an ankle sprain during his Week 7 return, landing him on injured reserve.

It’s been four years since Jackson’s had a 1,000-yard season, but he was productive during his two-year stint with the Buccaneers, finishing with 1,442 receiving yards. The 34-year-old has been limited to only seven total games since returning to the Eagles via trade in 2019. During his second stint with the Eagles, Jackson has hauled in 22 receptions for 314 yards and two scores.

The Eagles wide receiver corps have struggled to stay on the field this season, with the team starting six different wideouts (Jackson, Greg Ward, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, John Hightower, and Alshon Jeffery). For one of the few times this season, the Eagles should have a fully stocked depth chart for quarterback Jalen Hurts in his third career start.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: McCarthy, Eagles, Barkley

The Cowboys have spent this week clearing out some 2020 acquisitions, trading Everson Griffen and cutting Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley. Mike McCarthy does not currently have to worry about being a one-and-done coach. Jerry Jones expressed support for his 2020 HC hire, despite the team’s disappointing start.

One of the, without a question, reasons Mike McCarthy is the coach is because he’s been through it,” Jones said during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan (via the Dallas Morning News). “… Certainly, we couldn’t have anticipated being at this stage with our team this year. But if I were going to hire for a head coach, that we’re going to be at this stage this year and work through this for the betterment of what’s in store for us for the rest of the year and for what’s for us in the future, I got my man.”

McCarthy has kept Kellen Moore as his play-caller and hired Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator. While the Cowboys’ offense was surging with Dak Prescott, it has cratered without him. Dallas’ defense ranks 30th in DVOA. Jones retained Jason Garrett for nearly 10 full seasons and has given all but one coach (Chan Gailey) at least three full seasons. Considering McCarthy’s Super Bowl-winning pedigree, it would be shocking if Jones ousts him after one season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles are currently down four offensive linemen, each of their three top receivers, their top two tight ends and Miles Sanders. But they are, despite being 2-4-1, in first place in the NFC East. A Jay Glazer report prior to the Eagles’ Week 7 win indicated they told teams they would listen to offers for their best players, but ex-Eagles president Joe Banner said (via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Paul Domowitch) Philly is interested in acquiring offensive line and linebacker help. The Eagles have been buyers in trades for years, and Ertz’s ankle injury halted trade talks. Despite the Eagles projected to be nearly $70MM over the 2021 cap, they may again be ready to acquire veterans.
  • On the subject of Eagles veterans, the news is not good for DeSean Jackson. Calling it a similar injury to Dallas Goedert‘s, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo said Jackson suffered a non-displaced ankle fracture and is expected to miss between six and eight weeks (video link). The 33-year-old deep threat has missed 16 games since returning to Philadelphia and looms as a near-certain 2021 cap cut, but Garafolo adds D-Jax does not intend to retire after this season.
  • Saquon Barkley‘s ACL reconstructive surgery is set for Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Interestingly, the World Series delayed the Giants running back’s procedure. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the operation, but since he is also the Dodgers’ team doctor, he was in the final MLB bubble and off-limits until the Series’ conclusion, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. No word has emerged regarding if Barkley’s surgery will need to be further tabled because of Justin Turner’s positive COVID-19 test. Barkley suffered the injury Sept. 20. Despite this delay, doctors are hopeful he will be ready for training camp, NFL.com’s Andrea Kremer tweets.
  • Washington first-year HC Ron Rivera finished up his chemotherapy and proton therapy treatments Monday. While he still has follow-up appointments on tap, per ESPN.com’s John Keim, this marks a major development in the veteran coach’s recovery from lymph node cancer.

Eagles To Place DeSean Jackson On IR

DeSean Jackson‘s Friday morning MRI confirmed the Eagles’ fears. The wide receiver’s ankle injury will rule him out indefinitely, leaving the Eagles no choice but to put him on injured reserve (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

The league’s modified rules for injured reserve allow players to return in as little as three weeks. Jackson is expected to miss more time than that, though he still has a chance to return before the season is through.

The Eagles were already keeping a watchful eye on Jackson’s condition as he was returning from a hamstring injury. Unfortunately, his leg twisted on an ill-fated punt return late in last night’s win over the Giants. It’s just the latest blow to an Eagles team that has had awful injury luck throughout the year – top targets Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, and Alshon Jeffery are also among those sidelined.

On the plus side, the Eagles got some good news on offensive tackle Lane Johnson. The veteran has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, meaning that he’ll be able to return sooner rather than later. The time off will also allow him to recover from his previous ankle injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ DeSean Jackson To Miss Time?

The Eagles fear that wide receiver DeSean Jackson suffered a high ankle sprain in Thursday night’s win over the Giants, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Jackson and the Birds will know more this afternoon, once his MRI results come in. Depending on the outcome, Jackson may be scheduled surgery.

[RELATED: Eagles Were Willing To Trade Zach Ertz?]

Jackson hauled in three catches for 34 yards before he injured his leg on a punt return late in the game. Madre Harper knocked him down and Corey Ballentine‘s followup hit awkwardly pinned his leg. Jackson then had to be helped off of the field and carted to the locker room.

Jackson, who was just coming off of a hamstring injury, has 13 catches for 155 yards through four games. Hopefully, his ankle injury won’t cap his season in October. Last year, Jackson underwent core muscle surgery in November, capping his 2019 season after just three games played.

DJax, 34 in November, notched 41 catches for 774 yards and four touchdowns in 2018, his last healthy season. Though that was far from his usual stat line, the legendary deep threat still averaged 18.9 yards per grab that year to lead the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Board, Thomas, Eagles, Jackson

There was a scary injury in the Giants game Sunday, as New York receiver C.J. Board went down with a neck injury that required him to be immobilized and carted off the field. Fortunately, it looks like the worst case scenario was avoided. The team announced that Board had been diagnosed with a neck sprain and concussion after being taken to a local hospital. Giants coach Joe Judge said after the game that the initial feedback he had gotten from doctors was “pretty positive.”

He also said Board was responsive and has movement in his extremities. A 2017 UDFA, Board is in his first season with the Giants. The Chattanooga product has seven catches for 66 yards on the year. Here’s to hoping he makes a swift and full recovery.

Now for more from the struggling NFC East:

  • The Giants didn’t start first-round rookie Andrew Thomas at left tackle on Sunday, but it wasn’t because of his performance even though he hasn’t been playing as well as the other first-round tackles. Thomas was benched for disciplinary reasons after breaking a team rule, Judge said after the game. Judge wouldn’t go into too many details, but he didn’t make it sound too serious. Thomas entered the game in the second quarter and while this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, it’s also not a great sign for the fourth overall pick’s development.
  • The Giants will play the Eagles on Thursday Night Football this week, and Philly is finally starting to get healthier. DeSean Jackson is expected to make his return from his hamstring injury for this Week 7 game, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jackson has missed the last three games as the Eagles’ offense has been besieged by injuries. Philly’s group of pass-catchers in particular have been banged up, and Jackson will return a much-needed vertical threat to the passing attack. Through two and a half games he had ten catches for 121 yards before going down.

Eagles Fine DeSean Jackson

The Eagles announced discipline for DeSean Jackson on Friday. The team will fine the veteran wide receiver for his recent anti-Semitic comments.

Days after a report surfaced the Eagles were considering releasing Jackson, he remains on Philadelphia’s roster. The team will move forward with its 33-year-old wideout, who would be an expensive cut.

It would cost the Eagles $12MM-plus in dead money to release Jackson, and no cap savings would emerge from such a move. Jackson has apologized for the comments and engaged in extensive discussions with Eagles brass. This will be the deep threat’s second season back with the team. The Eagles reacquired him from the Buccaneers last March.

Jackson has also drawn criticism in the past for sharing controversial material. The Eagles have now released two statements regarding the receiver’s conduct this week. This one indicated Jackson would have to “commit to supporting his words with actions” in order to remain on the team. So, Jackson’s image-repair effort will continue.

Jackson missed most of last season, suffering an injury in September and undergoing surgery after a late-season aggravation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Looking Into Cutting DeSean Jackson?

Yesterday, in response to DeSean Jackson‘s anti-Semitic social media post — for which Jackson subsequently apologized — the Eagles issued a statement that said the team “will take appropriate action.” It remains to be seen whether that action includes cutting ties with the veteran wideout, but that certainly seems to be in the cards.

The ESPN.com report we cited in yesterday’s story noted that Jackson had met with team owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman — both Jewish — and that while Lurie expressed deep disappointment in Jackson’s post, no suspension or termination had been discussed. Indeed, Jackson reportedly expressed to Lurie his desire to educate himself and work in the Jewish community.

However, NFL insider Adam Caplan says that team brass has met with Jackson and his agent several times, and that the situation is not going away (Twitter link). Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Philadelphia’s decision as to Jackson’s future with the team could hinge on whether his social media post constitutes a default of his contract. The Eagles have already paid a $2MM option bonus, and $4.8MM of Jackson’s 2020 salary is guaranteed. Schefter says the team could try to void that guarantee.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk obtained a copy of the contract, and he believes it would be difficult for the Eagles to get out of paying Jackson his guaranteed money. They could void the guarantee if Jackson were suspended by the league, but the league has made it clear that this matter will be handled by the team. And if Philadelphia tries to suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team, it would be facing an uphill battle since it did not suspend former receiver Riley Cooper when he was caught on camera using a racial slur in 2013. But Florio also believes a team source has told Schefter that, if the Eagles can release Jackson and absolve themselves of their $4.8MM obligation, they will.

As he awaits word of his fate and tries to repair his image, Jackson took to Twitter to post another apology.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Eagles’ DeSean Jackson

On Tuesday, DeSean Jackson issued an apology via Instagram for his recent social media post that featured a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler. As detailed by ESPN.com, Jackson has also drawn criticism in the past for sharing controversial material.

Moments after Jackson’s apology, the Eagles released the following statement:

We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts. Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling. They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization. We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing, but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect.

We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and will take appropriate action. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to continuing to have productive and meaningful conversations with DeSean, as well as all of our players and staff, in order to educate, learn and grow.”

The Eagles did not specify what sort of “action” they are considering. If the outcome impacts Jackson’s availability, the Eagles will be left with Alshon Jeffery and rookie Jalen Reagor as their top receivers.

Jackson spent his first six seasons with the Eagles before stops in Washington and Tampa Bay. Last year, the Eagles brought him back via trade and locked him up with a three-year, $27MM deal ($13MM guaranteed). During his first stint in Philly, Jackson made it to three Pro Bowls, including the 2013 season in which he scored nine touchdowns and a career-high 1,332 receiving yards.

So far, the homecoming has not gone according to plan. Jackson underwent core muscle surgery in November, ending his season after just three games. He finished with nine catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.