DeSean Jackson only played 28 snaps during the Philadelphia Eagles’ tie against the Cincinnati Bengals before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. It sounds like there’s a chance that he might play zero snaps in Week 4. NFL insider Mike Garafolo has the latest update on the 33-year old wide receiver:
#Eagles WR DeSean Jackson is undergoing tests on his hamstring today, though the belief is it’s a minor strain, sources say. The team was cautious with him yesterday, as they’ve been with him overall. Don’t want to compound issues. His availability for Sun vs #49ers is TBD.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 28, 2020
A minor strain is obviously better than a major one. And John Clark is also reporting that Jackson’s injury is “not considered too serious.” But that there’s some of level of uncertainty about Jackson’s status for this Sunday’s game isn’t ideal.
The Eagles are already very banged up on offense. They’ve had to use a new starting offensive line combination in every game thus far. They’re down to the following healthy receivers and tight ends on the 53-man roster: Greg Ward, John Hightower, Zach Ertz, and Richard Rodgers. That’s it! Jackson, Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside are all dealing with injuries. Just not a great setup for a quarterback that’s already struggling.
Getting back to Jackson, it’s been a strange three games for him. It looked like he was primed to have a big year. He was looking spry as ever in camp and he was obviously the best receiver on the team heading into the season.
But then Jackson only played 54% of the Eagles’ snaps in Week 1. He insisted he wasn’t injured despite the fact he did not look totally healthy. The Eagles increased Jackson’s workload in Week 2 but didn’t take any true deep shots down the field to him; his longest catch went for 25 yards. The Eagles went deep to Jackson on their first offensive play in Week 3 but he was double covered and Wentz’s pass was overthrown anyway. He logged two receptions for just 11 yards before leaving the Bengals game in the second quarter.
If Jackson can’t play against the 49ers, Hightower could be in line for a lot of playing time once again. The 2020 fifth-round rookie led all Eagles receivers in snaps in Week 3 but only had two receptions for 19 yards in addition to drawing some pass interference penalties. The Eagles could look to elevate Deontay Burnett from the practice squad again and/or activate rookie wide receiver Quez Watkins from injured reserve, assuming he’s now healthy.
The Eagles are dealing with a lot of injury issues but the 49ers also have it pretty bad right now. They’re missing a ton of dudes. Despite this, they’re coming off a 36 to 9 win over New York Giants.
And so it probably won’t be easy for the Eagles to avoid dropping to 0-3-1.