WHETHER DeSean Jackson practiced yesterday depends on how you define "practice." Officially, Jackson didn't work 11-on-11, so he went down on the Eagles' report to the NFL as not having practiced, even though reporters saw him run patterns (seven-on-seven) and catch Michael Vick passes from formations for more than half an hour.
Before practice, Jackson said he will play Sunday against the Giants despite the foot injury he suffered in Dallas.
"I'll be ready for Sunday," Jackson said. "Can't let my team go out there without me."
The practice situation was much harder to decipher than Jackson's message to people who have criticized his backward plunge into the Dallas end zone, which drew a 15-yard penalty. Jackson said he doesn't agree with the criticism or the call - even if one of the critics was quarterback Michael Vick, who said after the game he thought the dive was "unnecessary."
"Everybody's not going to like it," Jackson said. "I could care less about who likes it and who doesn't. I do it because it's entertainment. That's the type of business we're in, entertainment. The fans like it. Everybody else, like I say, you wanna talk bad about it, that's your opinion, I could care less. That's his own opinion. He's his own man. I'm my own man. I coulda just wished I didn't get penalized for it, to hurt my team, but as far as me doing my celebrations, doing my entertainment, that's going to be me and I'll still do that."
Jackson said he didn't think he should have been penalized, since players routinely perform forward dives into the end zone without drawing flags.
Jackson was asked if it is hard to put his desire for a new contract aside during the season.
"Not necessarily," he said. "I know what I'm worth . . . it's not going to get in the way of anything. At times, things get in the way, but as a professional, you have to put that aside and just go out there and play football. That's what I'm going to do. But at the end of the day I'm just going to be myself and I'm not going to change for no one."
On "The T.Ocho Show," Jackson vowed to "set the bar high" with a new deal, to help show cohost Terrell Owens as he becomes a free agent. Asked yesterday if he is a top-five-in-the-league receiver, Jackson said he doesn't think about such things.
"If you ask all of my fans, I think they'll tell you that I'm a top five or I'm one of the best receivers," he said. "I know what I'm capable of doing, and I'm just here to make a lot of plays for my team and get 'em going."
Jackson said he feels everything he does is magnified. He said he heard criticism of his missing practice Wednesday from people who said he felt good enough to flop into the end zone after injuring his foot, but not good enough to practice.
"Whatever it is, people make a big deal about it," he said. "I promise, I could care less about it, it's not going to make me lose sleep . . . As far as people making a big deal about all these little things, it's just ridiculous to me. As long as I'm going on the field and producing and doing what I need to do, people shouldn't have nothing to say."
He said his contract situation "is what it is. My time will come."
Cornerback Asante Samuel was listed as a limited practice participant, although he didn't seem all that limited. "Working hard every day to get back out there," Samuel told reporters.
The three games he has missed since he suffered an MCL sprain in the last game against the Giants are the longest time out of the lineup in his 8-year career.
"It's frustrating," he said. "I've never been through this before."
Right tackle Winston Justice also was listed as a limited practice participant. Justice reiterated that he will play Sunday . . . Linebacker Keenan Clayton (hamstring) did not practice . . . Running back Joique Bell rejoined the practice squad, with tight end Cornelius Ingram getting released. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was asked if he thought Ingram, after having the same ACL repaired twice, will ever reclaim his promise. Ingram, a fifth-round pick in 2009, would have gone much higher in the draft without a suspect knee. "There's no question, yeah. I think he's got a good future, and it's up to him. He's got some work to do . . . He's going through a process here," Mornhinweg said. *
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