DeSean Jackson and Lane Johnson were able to return for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 7 matchup against the New York Giants but both players ended up leaving the game early. Here’s the latest news on them.
Jackson got hurt on a late hit after he fielded a punt return in the fourth quarter.
Completely unnecessary hit on Desean Jackson... and he just returned this week pic.twitter.com/f0fNhvvwvj— Jack Duffy (@JackDuffySI) October 23, 2020
Jackson posted the following picture of him wearing a boot after the game:
DeSean Jackson posts a picture of his foot in a walking boot on Instagram after the game. pic.twitter.com/hSpoKvm72J— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) October 23, 2020
NFL insider Adam Schefter says the Eagles fear Jackson suffered a high ankle sprain but he’s undergoing an MRI to see if he needs surgery. At the very least, it sounds like Jackson will be headed to injured reserve as he’s expected to miss several games.
It’s a shame — but not totally unexpected — that Jackson hasn’t been able to stay healthy since the Eagles re-acquired him during the 2019 offseason. He’s played in just 224 out of 1,737 possible snaps and now he’ll be set to miss even more.
Jackson’s return clearly helped the Eagles move the ball on Philly’s opening drive for a touchdown on Thursday night. His presence drew attention away from other offensive options.
With Jackson expected to miss time, the Eagles will move forward with the following healthy receivers: Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, John Hightower, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Quez Watkins. Alshon Jeffery is also on the roster and is reportedly set to play in Week 8 ... but there’s also talk that he’s very much available to be had in a trade, indicating the Eagles don’t actually want him around. Of course, it’s hard to envision teams jumping to take on Jeffery’s albatross of a contract.
Hightower figures to benefit the most from Jackson missing time. His snaps decreased with Jackson returning in Week 7. Watkins could also be activate again after being a healthy scratch against New York.
UPDATE: Rapoport says Jackson does have a high ankle sprain and will go on injured reserve. Set to miss at least three games and potentially even longer.
Johnson had to miss a few snaps on the Eagles’ first drive before coming back in. Then he left the game for good later on due to a knee injury, which is new.
John Clark reports Johnson is having an MRI on his knee and there’s a chance he suffered an MCL sprain. If that’s the case, Johnson could be set to miss several weeks. Keep in mind Johnson is also still dealing with a nagging ankle injury that’s been bothering him all season long.
The Eagles were having Matt Pryor fill in when Johnson wasn’t playing on Thursday night. Jack Driscoll has typically been Johnson’s backup but the rookie right tackle couldn’t play against the Giants and might miss another game. Brett Toth, who lacks extensive experience, is the only other backup tackle on the roster. The Eagles do have Prince Tega Wanogho on the practice squad; they could look to sign him to the 53-man roster if/when they place Johnson on injured reserve.
UPDATE: Johnson’s knee injury is a Grade 1 MCL sprain. Normally he might be able to play next week but the combination of the knee and ankle might force him to miss the Cowboys game.
The Eagles beat the Giants on Thursday night, which was important. And they should be getting some guys back from injury after the bye. Dallas Goedert could be back in Week 10. Jalen Reagor is expected back in November. And so on.
But the Jackson and Johnson injuries are bad news for a Philly team that’s 2-4-1 through their first seven games. They might be able to win the NFC East while being so banged up but it’s obviously hard to feel great about their chances if they do make it to the playoffs.