Despite DeSean Jackson’s statement yesterday that he would be returning punts this Sunday when the Eagles face the Packers to open their season, head coach Andy Reid says that’s still up in the air. “I’m debating on that right now, but we’ll see how it goes there,” Reid said.
Yesterday, Jackson said that he was told he’d be returning punts again this year. “They tried a little bit, I guess, to give some other people opportunities to go out there and do it. I guess, you know, it didn’t work out too well and they still want me to do it,” Jackson said.
It’s hard to tell at this point whether or not Reid truly hasn’t decided or just doesn’t want to reveal his decision any sooner than he has to. Cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who is listed as the Birds’ top kick returner, says he hasn’t lobbied for the spot, “I don’t think I have to go out there and beg or ask for a chance back there in the game.”
Hobbs also said he doesn’t know if he’ll be the guy handling the kick return duties on Sunday, “Not really, ‘cause like I said, we’ve been doing a lot of heavy rotation in the returns.”
If it’s not Jackson or Hobbs, Jorrick Calvin would be the likely candidate on returns. “Well I’ve got Calvin here, so I brought him in here to kind of do that and help out there, so we’ll just see,” Reid said.
Calvin says he hasn’t been told anything yet, “No, not really, I haven’t really gotten the word. This is my first time hearing about it, but I just go into games looking at, just be ready if my name is called.”
DeSean Jackson had already left the locker room by the time Reid’s press conference ended, and wasn’t available to comment. Given Reid’s tendency to keep things close to the vest, you never know for sure if he’s decided and told the team but asked them to keep quiet. In fact, for all anybody knows, Jackson’s declaration that he’d be returning punts yesterday could be a smoke screen to throw off the Packers.
The good news is, the wait won’t be too long to find out. In about 50 hours, Reid will have to show his hand as the Eagles and Packers square off at Lincoln Financial Field.
Coming This Evening
Check back tonight for a scouting report on the Packers.