“We’re still waiting on a few more test results with him but it’s a significant injury that’s going to require some time.”
When asked if it’s possible that Jackson returns at some point this season, Pederson was noncommittal.
“Yeah, until we find out more, I really can’t answer that right at this time.”
It sounds like the Eagles will place Jackson on injured reserve this week. Doing so would free up a roster spot. It’d also allow Jackson to be activated from IR at some point after Week 9, assuming he can get healthy enough to play.
It remains to be seen how the Eagles will handle Jackson’s absence. They only have three healthy defensive tackles on the 53-man roster: Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, and Hassan Ridgeway. Jernigan started for the Eagles in 2017 and has played well recently so he could be primed for a bigger role. Ridgeway has also had some nice flashes. It’s unfortunate the Eagles don’t have Treyvon Hester on the team anymore — he signed with Washington after getting waived last week — but they do still have Bruce Hector on the practice squad. The Eagles could opt to promote Hector.
But another complication with the Jackson injury is that the Eagles were counting on him to be a big part of their pass rush. His presence made it so that the team didn’t have to line up their edge rushers on the defensive interior.
And so maybe the Eagles look to add another defensive end instead of a defensive tackle? The team could try to convince Chris Long to come out of retirement. It was the Jackson signing that factored into Long retiring since he was concerned about a lack of playing time/diminished role. Alternatively, the Eagles could sign Connor Barwin, though it’s really questionable how much he’d actually help the pass rush.
The Eagles had big hopes for Jackson in 2019; there was a reason they signed him to three-year, $30 million contract in the offseason. Jackson was already showing some promising signs in Week 1:
Malik Jackson with a Top-5 Pass Rush Win Rate in the league before going down with injury against the Redskins https://t.co/jc0VETBLQI— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) September 9, 2019
Now the Eagles will have to figure out how to move forward without Jackson. And that’s troubling since there were already questions about the Eagles’ pass rush being good enough.
We’ll soon see what the Eagles decide to do. Pederson suggested the team could make a roster move as soon as Tuesday.