DeSean Jackson‘s triumphant return to Philadelphia has been not so triumphant, because Jackson hasn’t been playing. It’s still unclear when he’ll play again.
The Eagles receiver had a major impact in Week One, catching eight passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Before he could catch a pass in Week Two against the Falcons, Jackson exited.
As noted by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the team called it a groin injury during the game. On the ensuing Wednesday injury report, the team changed it to an abdomen injury. In the three games since then, Jackson hasn’t played.
There are signs he could be moving closer to a return from an injury that still hasn’t specifically been identified by the Eagles.
“I’m not familiar with the injury that he has,” coach Doug Pederson said this week when asked about potential benchmarks for Jackson’s return, “but I would think with a guy like DeSean who’s a track guy, he’s a runner, obviously he has to have a level of comfort with that injury. All the stopping and starting and things of that nature.”
On Friday, Pederson said Jackson has “progressed each day” this week in rehab sessions, and that the “key is for him to make sure there is not a lot of soreness or pain dealing with after a workout.”
Though Pederson didn’t say much, Jackson’s long-time trainer did. Gary Cablayan, who has come to Philadelphia to work with Jackson, told McLane that Jackson is trying to get to faster speeds as he slowly recovers from the injury. Cablayan said it’s not a hernia (as many have speculated), but that Jackson has a “small tear.”
“You’re always keeping that area [of the body] tense to make changes to accelerate, so it’s something you use a ton, which is the reason why it’s taking so long,” Cablayan said, via McLane. “It’s hard to take off. You sit down to get back up, and you use it just for those two things. If you sneeze, you feel it.”
The goal is to get back on the field but also to give the injury enough time to heal so that the tear doesn’t get worse. Jackson’s age (32) could be a factor in the time it’s taking his body to fully recover, but his skills are still present and he will help the Eagles offense reach a new level whenever he returns.
It won’t be this weekend against the Vikings, but maybe we’ll see Jackson next Sunday night, when the Eagles and Cowboys get together for the first of their two annual games.