On the same night he scored a touchdown on his first career reception, Eagles tight end Tyree Jackson suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The severity of Jackson’s knee injury, which he suffered during the regular-season finale against the Cowboys on Saturday, was revealed less than a day later after he underwent an MRI. The news was first reported by NFL Network and confirmed by The Inquirer.
The season-ending injury is disappointing news for Jackson, the 6-foot-7 reserve whom general manager Howie Roseman raved about after trading Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals.
Jackson, who was a college quarterback at Buffalo, showed flashes throughout training camp, but he sustained a back injury during the summer and landed on injured reserve for the first half of the season. Upon his return to the active roster, Jackson slotted into the depth chart behind Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll.
Against the Cowboys, Jackson’s first reception — and touchdown — occurred on a 3-yard shovel pass from quarterback Gardner Minshew. Jackson finished with three catches for 22 yards.
“I was so excited for Tyree,” Minshew said. “That’s my guy. We’ve been going at it on scout team, been doing some really good things. He’s going to be a really special player. ... To get him involved for his first touchdown, I think I was probably as excited as he was, if not more.”
Jackson sustained the knee injury later in the game while he was playing on special teams and collided with another player. Immediately, Jackson fell to the ground. He limped gingerly off the field, and once he reached the sideline, he spiked his helmet out of frustration.
With Jackson’s season over, the Eagles will likely place him on injured reserve to free up a roster spot. The team will need to rely more on Stoll and veteran Richard Rogers, especially in 13-personnel packages.
Goedert and Stoll did not play in Week 18; both players remain on the COVID-19/reserve list. The Eagles also have tight end Noah Togiai on the practice squad.