DeSean Jackson’s departure from the injury report was short-lived.
The Eagles wide receiver will miss “significant time” with a high-ankle sprain suffered Thursday night against the Giants, Doug Pederson said Friday. He is expected to go on injured reserve.
It was Jackson’s first game back from a hamstring injury, which caused him to miss three games. Lane Johnson, who also left the game with a knee injury, isn’t in the same predicament, as Pederson said the right tackle is “day-to-day.”
Jackson, 33, hurt his ankle returning a punt in the fourth quarter of the team’s 22-21 win over the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. He was initially hit by Giants defensive back Corey Ballentine, who was penalized for lowering his head to initiate contact, and was then hit late by Madre Harper. The late hit, which went uncalled, appeared to bend Jackson’s leg backward.
Pederson didn’t want to discuss whether Harper’s hit was a dirty one, but he said they would send the tape of the play to the league office for review, as they do with a number of plays every week.
“It’s not my place publicly to comment on that,” Pederson said. “It’s a play that we’ll turn into the league to see if there will be [anything]. Obviously they flagged it, the officials got it right obviously in the game. It’s unfortunate because of the injury, but that’s something that’s in the league’s hands. If there’s any ramifications, it will come down from them, but it’s not my place to comment on that.”
Jackson struggled to put weight on his right leg and was helped off the field in the game and posted a picture of his leg in a walking boot on social media asking for prayer requests. Since signing a three-year deal with the Eagles before last season, Jackson has missed 16 games and counting.
High-ankle sprains typically take four to six weeks to fully recover from, but it’s worth noting the team has been overly cautious with Jackson in the past, making sure he’s fully recovered before bringing him back. He had three catches for 35 yards Thursday and one rush for 12 yards. The impact he has on opposing defenses is undeniable, forcing defensive backs to play off the line of scrimmage and often requiring safety help.
Johnson has been battling his own ankle problem all season, but he will now be dealing with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, too. The 29-year-old missed a few plays early in the game, but he left for good in the fourth quarter, replaced by Matt Pryor. He had surgery on his ankle in August and missed two games while trying to manage the swelling.
Johnson could be ready for the Eagles' game against the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday, but it’s possible the team will give him time to rest, considering he’s now dealing with two injuries. There’s a chance the knee sprain, which typically doesn’t hold players out very long, was a compensatory injury caused by the ankle.
“Lane is going to be a little more day-to-day,” Pederson said. “We’ll see where he’s at next week.”
The Eagles could also see the return of several injured players thanks to the long week coming off the Thursday game. Pederson named Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders, Jason Peters, Alshon Jeffery, and T.J. Edwards among the players with a chance to play next Sunday.
“These guys are all rehabbing and working today, working through the weekend,” Pederson said. “We’ll see where they’re at at the beginning and really the middle of next week. ... We’ve got a few days here to really get these guys healthy even more, but I’m hoping that we get a few of these guys back next week going into the Cowboy game."