Eskin notes the 25-year-old Jernigan is expected to make a full recovery but will not participate in the Eagles’ offseason program.
This news makes sense in light of Jernigan slowing down during the second half of the 2017 season. Here’s what we wrote about that earlier this year:
Review: The Eagles had high expectations for Jernigan after trading for him last year. Jernigan delivered on that promise early in the season. He was looking dominant early on. Then he started to slow down after suffering a foot injury against the Panthers in October. The Eagles didn’t sour on him, though. Instead, they signed Big Money Tim to a long-term contract extension during the bye week. The early returns on the deal weren’t great since Jernigan continued to be quiet. His playing time was even limited in some games down the stretch.
Outlook: One of the concerns about Jernigan coming from Baltimore was that he faded later in the season. Hopefully his lack of dominance in the second half of the 2017 schedule can be explained away by injury. Moving forward, the Eagles need him to be more like the player he was before he signed a big extension. If he can do that, the combination of Cox and Jernigan should be a great defensive tackle duo for years to come.
Here’s hoping Jernigan is able to stay healthy and continue to be the force he was early on last season. The duo of him and Fletcher Cox have the potential to be very disruptive in the middle of the defensive line.
It remains to be seen exactly when Jernigan will return to football. If Eskin is defining “offseason program” as the Eagles’ spring workouts, then perhaps Jernigan will be ready by the time Eagles training camp begins in late July.
Either way, it sounds like BMT should be ready by Week 1 of the 2018 NFL regular season, which matters most.