Jackson gets placed on IR
DT’s Lisfranc injury could bring quick end to his 2019 season
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.