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Eagles’ Doug Pederson ‘optimistic’ DeSean Jackson will play Sunday

“I’m optimistic that he’ll play," Pederson said at his Friday morning press conference. "He’s had a great week of practice."

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson appears ready to return to action after his Week 2 injury.
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson appears ready to return to action after his Week 2 injury.Read moreDavid Maialetti / File Photograph

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson might play Sunday for the first time since Week 2, even if only in a limited role, coach Doug Pederson said Friday.

“I’m optimistic that he’ll play," Pederson said at his morning press conference. “We’re going to get through today. He’s had a great week of practice. He’s been limited on the injury report all week, so we’ll get through today and tomorrow, and we’re optimistic that he can play.”

Jackson suffered an abdominal tear early in the Eagles’ Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. On Wednesday, he returned to practice in a limited capacity but has not been available to talk with reporters about how it’s going.

As for the role Jackson will play in Sunday’s home game against the Chicago Bears, Pederson said, “It’s something we’ll have to sort of monitor."

In the Eagles’ Week 1 win over the Washington Redskins, Jackson had eight catches for 154 yards and touchdowns of 51 and 53 yards.

If Jackson returns Sunday, should Eagles fans expect him to stretch the defense the same way he did that early September day, or will he be more of a decoy?

“I think any time DeSean’s on the field, defenses have to account for that speed and his receiving ability. Whether or not he’s the primary on the route could be a different story,” Pederson said. “It helps us as an offense when he’s on the field because he’s such a dynamic guy, a speed guy, and a good leader for our young guys.”

As for other injured players, Pederson said defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, who’s been out since Week 2 with a foot injury, and running back Darren Sproles, who suffered a quad injury last month against the Jets, could also return.

Cornerback Avonte Maddox (neck, head) and running back Miles Sanders, who left last week’s game at Buffalo in the third quarter because of a right shoulder injury, are expected to be back on the field.

Pederson reiterated Friday that left tackle Jason Peters (knee) and linebacker Nigel Bradhman (ankle) need more time to recover from their injuries. They are not expected to play Sunday when the Eagles (4-4) take on the Bears (3-4).