DeSean Jackson might be the biggest difference-maker that the Philadelphia Eagles have on offense, but he’s got to stay healthy.
Eagles legend DeSean Jackson failed to make much of an impact in the first year of his second stint with the Eagles. Despite a lights-out homecoming performance in Week 1, he missed the majority of the rest of the season due to injuries. That isn’t what the Eagles were hoping for when they gave him a three-year $27 million contract during last year’s offseason.
Jackson caught eight passes on nine targets for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Even better, it came versus a division rival, the Washington Football Team. As you all know, Jackson would suffer an abdominal injury the following week and miss the next six games. The “Birds” activated him again in Week 9 only to see him reaggravate his injury and miss the remainder of 2019. Having had plenty of time to recover, the veteran receiver should be fully healthy, but the Eagles should manage his role on the offense and some of their expectations surrounding him.
Jackson had a couple of solid seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He posted 668 yards in 2017 and another 774 in 2018. If he’s back to some semblance of his old form, there’s no reason to think he can’t achieve similar totals this upcoming season.
At this point of his career, the Eagles brass may want to feature the youngsters and let Jackson play in a complementary role. They invested a second-round selection in Arcega-Whiteside in 2019 and a first-rounder in Jalen Reagor this year. Also, with Alshon Jeffery beginning the 2020 regular-season campaign on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, John Hightower may be asked to fill in and play in an expanded role. So will Ward if he makes the team.
Jackson is at the stage of his career where he isn’t the featured player he once was and he can do the most damage in a limited role. His yards per catch average hasn’t decreased much, but his number of receptions has. Philly will want to be smart with him. Prediction: 45 catches, 583 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns