Jack­son gets placed on IR

DT’s Lis­franc in­jury could bring quick end to his 2019 sea­son

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - BY ANDY SCHWARTZ

The Ea­gles are lucky they brought back Timmy Jerni­gan.

De­fen­sive tackle Ma­lik Jack­son suf­fered a Lis­franc in­jury to his left foot in Sun­day’s win over Wash­ing­ton and is ex­pected to miss the rest of the sea­son, ac­cord­ing to NFL Net­work’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport, who also re­ported Jack­son will have surgery next week.

The Ea­gles placed Jack­son on in­jured re­serve Tues­day. They did not give a timetable for his re­turn. The eighth-year vet­eran, who signed a three­year, $30 mil­lion deal with the Ea­gles in March, is out at least eight weeks, per NFL rules, and is el­i­gi­ble to re­turn Week 11 ver­sus New Eng­land.

“Ma­lik’s an im­por­tant part of what we do and we’re cer­tainly go­ing to miss him on the field,” de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Jim Schwartz said Tues­day. “But we’ve got plenty of guys that can step up and play, and that’s noth­ing new in the NFL.”

One of those guys is de­fen­sive tackle Akeem Spence, who agreed to terms with the Ea­gles on Tues­day. Se­lected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by Tampa Bay, Spence spent his first four sea­sons with the Bucs, played for the Lions in 2017 and the Dol­phins last sea­son.

The 27-year-old Spence started 16 games for Mi­ami last sea­son and had two sacks. He has started 57 of 88 games played over his ca­reer and has 10 1⁄2 sacks. An­other move could be com­ing how­ever, as the Ea­gles opened a ros­ter spot by waiv­ing tight end Alex El­lis.

Could it be that they are con­sid­er­ing lur­ing de­fen­sive end Chris Long out of retirement? We could know as early as Wed­nes­day.

Jerni­gan is ex­pected to take Jack­son’s start­ing spot. He sur­pris­ingly re­turned to the Ea­gles just hours be­fore the start of the NFL draft, agree­ing to a oneyear deal af­ter the Ea­gles had al­lowed him to be­come a free agent by not pick­ing up his op­tion. He played in just three games last sea­son af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a neck/back in­jury suf­fered shortly af­ter the Su­per Bowl.

“It was a tough year for Timmy last year, com­ing back from an in­jury and work­ing hard to get back on the field,” Schwartz said. “That’s tough for any player, but he’s a good player. We saw that in the plays that he played on Sun­day and we’re go­ing to need him to get back to that, which I think he is.”

Schwartz in Jan­uary said Jerni­gan “means some­thing to our spirit,” and Jerni­gan on Sun­day recorded the Ea­gles’ lone sack against Wash­ing­ton.

“It was a hurry-up sit­u­a­tion, so you weren’t able to get Timmy’s shimmy, so to speak, af­ter he makes his play,” Schwartz said. “But that brings us en­ergy. Any­time he makes a play it brings us en­ergy on de­fense.”

Four-year vet­eran Has­san Ridge­way should also see in­creased play­ing time. The Ea­gles ac­quired Ridge­way from the Colts dur­ing the draft for a sev­enth-round pick.

Jack­son, who suf­fered the in­jury late in the game, played 34 of 67 de­fen­sive snaps against Wash­ing­ton. Jerni­gan played 25 and Ridge­way 24.

The Ea­gles also have Bruce Hec­tor on the prac­tice squad. Hec­tor 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.

The Ea­gles also have moved Bran­don Gra­ham and/or Vinny Curry in­side on pass­ing downs and could opt to do so more of­ten.


Philadel­phia Ea­gles de­fen­sive tackle Ma­lik Jack­son walks off the field at the NFL foot­ball team's train­ing camp in Philadel­phia July 26.

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