First game is a pain for injured Jackson
PHILADELPHIA — Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson is out indefinitely with a lower-leg injury suffered in Sunday’s win over Washington.
Jackson after the game was wearing a boot on his left foot in the locker room.
Coach Doug Pederson said Monday that “we’re still waiting on a few more test results with him, but it’s a significant injury that will require some time.”
Pederson also said there is no timetable yet on his return and is not sure if the team will have to place him on the injured reserve list.
But given that the Eagles are carrying only four defensive tackles on their active roster and like to rotate all four in games, a roster move is almost a lock. That probably won’t come until Tuesday, though, according to Pederson.
On the other hand, they are heavy at defensive end, with six, and often move Brandon Graham and/or Vinny Curry inside on passing downs anyway, so they might try to squeeze by with what they have if Jackson is not placed on IR.
If he is, Bruce Hector, who is on the Eagles’ practice squad, would be the top candidate to replace him on the roster and move into the rotation. Tim Jernigan, who had the Eagles’ only sack on Sunday, and Hassan Ridgeway are candidates to replace Jackson as a starter.
Jackson went down near the end of the game. He played 34 of 67 defensive snaps on Sunday and was credited with one tackle. Jernigan played 25 snaps and Ridgeway 24.
Jackson is an eight-year veteran with 32 career sacks who was playing in his first game with the Eagles. He had spent the previous three seasons with Jacksonville, where he landed after helping the Broncos get to two Super Bowls in three years, winning it all in the 2015 season.
Hector originally signed with the Eagles last year as an undrafted free agent out of South Florida and spent 2018 alternating between their active roster and practice squad. He was traded to the Arizona Cardinals last month for safety Rudy Ford but rejoined the Eagles’ practice squad after being cut by the Cardinals coming out of camp.
No brainer, Part 2: Pederson said after the game that there was no hesitation when it came to going for it fourth down in Eagles territory while trailing by 13 points in the third quarter.
On Monday, he said the same about his decision to go for a two-point conversion after a touchdown put them up by seven in the fourth quarter.
“Everything told us at that point, even before the drive started, that the communication we had was this was a two-point [conversion] drive if we scored,” Pederson said. “The thinking was, if you kick the extra point, you’re up eight and a touchdown, two-point, you’re tied. So this way it puts it into a twoscore game and really puts the pressure back on them to do that.”
Darren Sproles made good on the run to give the Eagles a 29-20 advantage.
Cornerback rotation: The plan all along, according to the coach, was to start cornerback Rasul Douglas on the outside, opposite Ronald Darby, and then rotate Sidney Jones in, according to Pederson.
Douglas was beaten handily by Terry McLaurin for a 69-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. But when Jones went in to replace him in the third, it was not in response to how Douglas performed in the first half.
“No, it was all planned,” Pederson said. “Everything was planned.”
The last word: Pederson, on Jernigan: “He’s an excitable guy. He loves playing, loves playing the D-Line position. He’s just somebody that brings a level of energy and power to the inside. And so now he’s going to obviously get an opportunity here within probably the next few weeks to play a little bit more, and really would expect nothing less from him.”
Morning Call reporter Nick Fierro can be reached at 610-778-2243 or [email protected]
Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson is carted off the field in the fourth quarter Sunday against Washington. Jackson suffered an injury to his lower left leg.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson responds to questions after the season-opening victory.