EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. The
Show was back on stage last night against the New York Giants - until Maclin departed this time.
"Maclin tore his plantar fascia," Coach Andy Reid said. "That's a week or two injury so we'll see how he does as we go, but he'll be fine."
The Eagles' starting wide receivers were separated last week when Jackson was held out after suffering a concussion the week before against the Redskins.
Maclin's status was uncertain because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. At one point last week, he was walking in a boot.
The two are among the youngest starting receiving duos in the NFL. Despite Maclin's not starting the first two games of the season and Jackson missing last week, they had amassed 90 catches for 1,392 yards before last night's game.
Jackson needed little time to make his mark against the Giants. He caught a 32-yard pass from Michael Vick on the Eagles' opening drive. Two plays later, Donovan McNabb hit Brent Celek for an 8-yard touchdown.
Jackson later returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown, his third punt return for a TD this season, setting a team record. Brian Westbrook and Steve Van Buren returned two punts for touchdowns in one season.
With the punt return and a 60-yard third-quarter touchdown catch, Jackson tied the NFL record with eight touchdowns of more than 50 yards this season. Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch (1951) and Devin Hester (2007) also had eight.
The Eagles brought Kevin Curtis to the Meadowlands in case Jackson or Maclin couldn't go, but Curtis (knee injury) did not dress.
There was a very odd call in the second quarter, though it ended up not costing the Eagles.
McNabb was sacked by Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora as the quarterback cocked to throw. The ball came loose and referees ruled it a fumble. There was an inadvertent whistle, however, and the ball was spotted 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage where McNabb was sacked.
Of course, there was some doubt that McNabb even fumbled. It appeared the quarterback's arm was moving forward when Umenyiora chopped the ball loose. Nonetheless, the Eagles scored a touchdown on the drive to go ahead, 30-17.
Westbrook hopes to play before the end of the season.
Time is running out on the Eagles running back, however, with three regular-season games remaining. Of course, the Eagles could be playing beyond their Jan. 3 finale at Dallas, but the decision on whether to bring Westbrook back remains a tenuous one.
Even though he practiced last week for the first time in a month, Westbrook was not active for last night's Giants game. Eagles coach Andy Reid did not specify on Friday if the decision was made by the coaches, the training staff or Westbrook himself. According to the coach, it was just the "right thing to do."
Westbrook is trying to come back from two concussions, the second of which happened Nov. 15 at San Diego. The first occurred 20 days earlier at Washington. On Wednesday, Westbrook said doctors told him that he hadn't completely healed when he tried to return from the first concussion. They have also told him that there is no foolproof way to know when you're fully healed.
"We did every test we could, but until you go out there and get hit you're not so sure if you're healed completely," Westbrook said. "It's not like an ankle [where] you can feel it every day, or a knee or something like that. Concussions are a different thing for me, and it just wasn't healed completely."
The Eagles don't hit during practice at this point in the season, so there's no way to simulate a game. Westbrook ran with the scout team last week, and Reid liked what he saw out of the 30-year-old.
"Every time he touched the ball, and even when he didn't, he was sprinting the length of the field and getting some work in there," Reid said. "When he did have the ball he was trying to make some moves and kind of get back into the swing of playing football."
Reid revealed Friday that Westbrook has been wearing a larger, more padded helmet that other players returning from head injuries have worn. It remains to be seen if he'll be able to try it out this season.
"I'm just taking it day by day," Reid said.
Apparently, so is Westbrook.
Sheldon Brown's 60-yard fumble return for a touchdown was the fifth of his career, tying fellow cornerback Eric Allen and linebacker Seth Joyner for the most ever by an Eagles defensive player. Brown returned an interception 83 yards for a score last week at Atlanta. . . . Defensive tackle Trevor Laws did not dress for only the second time this season. The second-year player was last held out against Tampa Bay on Oct. 11. Guard Stacy Andrews was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. . . . The Eagles opened the game with the no-huddle, just as they did a month ago at Chicago. They settled for a field goal against the Bears. Last night, the first possession netted a touchdown. . . . Linebacker Akeem Jordan returned to the lineup after missing the previous four games with a hyperextended knee. He did not start, however, at his normal weakside spot. Jordan did play some middle linebacker.