DeSean Jackson ruled out, but coach optimistic on Alshon Jeffery, Dallas Goedert
DeSean Jackson won’t play on Sunday when the Detroit Lions visit Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles wide receiver has an abdomen injury and was ruled out by head coach Doug Pederson on Friday morning. The coach, however, is still hopeful that receiver Alshon Jeffery and/or tight end Dallas Goedert could play. Both players are struggling with calf injuries.
“I’m still optimistic on those two,” said Pederson. “We’ll see (at practice) then obviously wait until game day.”
Pederson was optimistic enough to list both Jeffery and Goedert as questionable on the team's injnury report. Also listed as questionable was backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
Linebacker Kamu-Grugier-Hill is doubtful.
In addition to Jackson, also ruled out were running back Corey Clement (shoulder), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), and offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (back).
VIDEO: Doug Pederson talks about Isaac Seumalo's struggles in Atlanta
With the short turnaround between games, with the Eagles traveling to Lambeau Field to meet the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, Pederson will likely err on the side of caution before putting Jeffery and Goedert at risk on Sunday.
"It's tricky," said Pederson. "You have a couple of games here pretty quick. So you have to be careful because really with the season being this young and this early with a lot of ball left, you have to be smart.
"At the same time, if they can help us and give us something, I want that too for the football team. But we take that all into consideration when we make these game-time decisions."
Without Clement, the Eagles will have just three healthy running backs: Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, and Darren Sproles.
Pederson said Sproles could see some time as a slot receiver against the Lions.
Sanders has gotten the most work in the run game, so far, but has had limited success with 21 rushes for 53 yards (2.5 yards per carry). Howard has seemingly been underutilized, getting just 14 carries for 62 yards (4.4 yards per carry).
“We brought (Howard) here for a reason, long season, we’re kind of just getting off the ground so we’ll hopefully see more of him,” said Pederson.
In addition to the mounting injury problem, the Eagles also had a big issue at left guard last week when Isaac Seumalo struggled in both the passing and running games. He allowed two sacks, six quarterback hurries/hits, and was flagged three times, twice for holding, once for a false start.
Pederson said there is no plan at this time to park Seumalo on the bench.
“Everybody’s going to have a bad game,” said the coach. “One game does not decide somebody’s season. Am I supposed to bench Nellie for dropping a pass or Zach Ertz for not getting a first down? You’re not going to do that. It’s not going to define Isaac, it’s not going to define our season, so one game to me doesn’t determine if we need make a move at any position on the team.
“If you go back to my first year with Nellie, for instance, it was cumulative. It was over multiple weeks. Just to separate him at that time and how he’s recovered and bounced back from that, so it’s definitely for me it would have to be a repetitive thing or an injury thing, but in this case got so much trust and ability and skill in Isaac, not at all.”