DeSean Jackson passed all of his tests and has been medically cleared to return to the football field, but the wide receiver’s official status for the Eagles game against the Colts Sunday won’t be announced until later this week.
“We’ll see how he does during practice,” said head coach Andy Reid. “This will be his first full practice of going here and we’ll just see. We’ll take it day by day and see how he does.”
Jackson sustained a concussion two and a half weeks ago in the Eagles win over the Falcons. The 5’10″ receiver was caught over the middle by Dunta Robinson, who delivered a vicious hit that played a role in prompting the NFL’s crackdown on dangerous shots to the head.
Jackson leads Philadelphia with more than 20 yards per catch and sits second on the team with 395 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. Jackson was quite possibly on the way to his best game of the year against Atlanta, scoring on a 31-yard end around and catching a 34-yard touchdown pass prior to his injury early in the second quarter.
After the hit, both Jackson and Robinson received approximately five minutes of attention from training staff on the field before being helped into the locker room. Robinson still has not been cleared to return. The cornerback was fined $50,000 for the hit, but appealed the fine and called it “ridiculous,” according to an article by Tom Pedulla in USA Today. So far, the league has not responded to the appeal.
Jackson, meanwhile, doesn’t plan on thinking about the hit anymore. “At the end of the day, I still have to go out there and play football, so I’m not going to worry about it being in the back of my mind,” Jackson said. “It’s something that happened, unfortunately, but I still have to go out there and do a job, so [I] won’t be worrying about it.”
Jackson caught 62 passes for 1,156 yards and 9 touchdowns last year. Despite being in a bit of a slump before the Atlanta game, Jackson was on pace for 51 catches, 1,053 yards and 8 touchdowns through the air at the end of Week 6. The Birds are thrilled to have their most explosive receiver back in the lineup.
“He’s a very good player, so that helps you and that’s another good football player that you can put out on the field,” Reid said. “I’m not going to slight any of the guys that are out there. Jeremy did a nice job of filling in and the other receivers did a nice job of filling in. Listen, he’s a starter and he’s one of the very good receivers in the National Football League. You welcome him back.”
They welcome him back unofficially, of course. The true announcement probably won’t come until Friday, but all indications are that Jackson will be ready to give it a go.
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