Jackson, who was listed “questionable” on the Bucs’ final injury report, was a full participant during Friday’s practice despite dealing with a shoulder issue in addition to his concussion. In other words, this news doesn’t come as a total surprise.
Jackson being present for this game is bad news for the Eagles’ defense. The former Philadelphia draft pick loves to torch his former team. Since being released by the Eagles in March 2014, Jackson has logged 20 receptions for 440 yards (a whopping 22.0 average) and two touchdowns in five games against Philly.
Although he turns 32 in December, Jackson sure looked in prime form last week against the Saints. He torched New Orleans with five receptions for 146 yards (29.2 average) and two touchdowns.
The Eagles will have their hands full trying to contain Jackson. It would seem like Jim Schwartz wants to get Ronald Darby, who boast 4.3 40-yard speed, matched up on him. One would imagine Bucs offensive coordinator and play-caller Todd Monken will try to move Jackson around the formation.
Of course, Jackson is hardly the only receiving target the Eagles defense will have to worry about on Sunday. Mike Evans is also one of the top wideouts in the game. Penn State alumnus Chris Godwin is impressive. Then there’s O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate at tight end.
This underscores how imperative it is for the Eagles to get pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick this weekend. Fitzpatrick went off against the Saints but he’s clearly not that good every week. We know Philadelphia is capable of creating pressure, as we just saw last week with the Eagles sacking Matt Ryan four times and hitting him an additional 15 times. The Eagles’ front seven will need another strong performance in order to beat the Bucs.