Philadelphia Eagles 2020 training camp profile: WR DeSean Jackson

DeSean Jackson #10, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
DeSean Jackson #10, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Okay Philadelphia Eagles fans, let’s talk about DeSean’s game for a second.

Well, it’s been a stressful couple of weeks, hasn’t it? We’ve talked a lot about DeSean Jackson. We’ve discussed errors in judgment. We’ve talked about apologies, what the next steps should be, and making the most out of a bad situation. When that happens, there’s an overwhelming feeling that takes hold of any Philadelphia Eagles fan or any fan of any other team.

We ask ourselves this. “Wouldn’t it be nice to just talk about football again”? Right now, that sort of feels like a good idea. Let’s talk about DeSean Jackson as a football player. Training camp is coming, and you can best believe that when it does, you’re going to hear a lot about “D-Jax” and what he said. This story is about his game. We’re giving you a day off from everything else.

Here are a few thoughts that might only be news if you’re not a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

For DeSean, the 2020 NFL season will be his 13th and his eighth in an Eagles jersey. Wow. Time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday when he dropped the ball prior to entering the endzone versus the Dallas Cowboys or when he took that punt back to the house for that walk-off touchdown versus the hated New York Giants.

No, “D-Jax” hasn’t played a full 16-game slate since 2013, the last time he was in Philadelphia, but what makes “10” special is this. Even though he turns 34 on December 1st, which honestly means as a wide receiver, he’s eligible for the NFL’s version of social security, when he’s healthy, he’s capable of performances like the one we saw in Week 1 of 2019’s season.

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If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, don’t temper your excitement.

Philly’s best wide receiver on opening day last season was, without question, was their oldest, and those eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns that he hauled in whet every Eagles fan’s appetite for more. More never came as “10” only appeared in two more games, but 2020’s campaign has brought with it a renewed sense of confidence. The questions are what are reasonable expectations for Jackson and whether or not he can stay healthy enough to meet or exceed them.

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Whether there are NFL preseason games or not, don’t expect to see “10” running around in any of them. The goal the “Birds” have with DeSean Jackson is the same goal they’ve had the past three seasons with Carson Wentz. Keep your best players healthy.

It’s July. It’s impossible to determine right now whether “D-Jax” can play in 12 games or more and haul in more than 60 passes or whether, at this stage of his career, a three-game season is indeed his ceiling. All any of us can say is this. This Eagles team is better with him on the field than they are if he can’t go.

It would be nice to not have to employ the “next man up” mantra just this once. Philly’s got to do whatever they have to do to keep him healthy, even if that means putting him on a snap count. It sure would be nice if this team can make their fourth straight playoff appearance with him present.

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Fielding an Eagles team at full strength with “10”, Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, Marquise Goodwin, Greg Ward, and an improved JJ Arcega-Whiteside could be fun to watch, but before any of us starts talking about the playoffs, Philly’s got to do something else first. Right now, we just need a real 53-man roster built. Training camp will help us do that, and it’s right around the corner.