Eagles players excited as teammates getting healthier

Ed Benkin
October 30, 2019 - 8:31 pm
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) runs off the field.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — DeSean Jackson is hoping to play for the first time in over a month, and tight end Zach Ertz and several other teammates think he is ready.

Jackson practiced for the first time in weeks on Wednesday as the Eagles began preparations for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.  

Although the wide receiver was limited and his status for Sunday's game is still uncertain, Ertz says Jackson looks like the same receiver who lit up the Washington Redskins in the season opener.

"He looked like his old self," said Ertz. "Quick off the ball and fast when he gets going and sharp in and out of his breaks. He's the same old DeSean."

The same old DeSean would be a big boost to the Eagles offense, who have missed both the presence and the production of the speedy wide receiver. 

Jackson can make his share of plays but just being out on the field changes the way opposing defenses line up against the Eagles. 

Quarterback Carson Wentz was perhaps the most excited teammate as he anticipated the return of one of his top targets.

"I'm excited just to get him out there working again and for him to see where he is at and where he is at with his injury," Wentz said. "Everyone loves going to play with that guy and the big play ability that he has and who he is. There's the coverage attention he brings as well. Hopefully, we can keep building him into it."
 
Jackson isn't the only injured player who is getting closer to returning. Darren Sproles and Tim Jernigan also saw limited action in practice and Avonte Maddox was a full participant. Maddox suffered a neck injury along with a concussion last month in Green Bay, but Maddox says he has no worries about getting hurt again when he returns to game action.

"I'm good," said Maddox. "Like my dad always told me, if you go out there and play scared, then that's when things happen to you. I wouldn't put myself back on the field if I felt like I wasn't 100 percent ready. I feel like I'm 100 percent ready, so it's something I don't think about. I just go out there and compete my hardest."

The NFL trade deadline came and went on Tuesday with the Eagles deciding not to make a major move. It appeared the asking price was too high for some of the top players available, so general manager Howie Roseman elected to stand pat. 

Coach Doug Pederson believes the return of the likes of Jackson, Maddox, Sproles and Jernigan will provide the roster boost they'll need for the second half of the season.

"We are excited," Pederson said. "The number one thing is we are getting guys back. We're getting guys healthy here quickly and it goes into a lot of the decisions. We take a look. When I say we, Howie and obviously myself have conversations about a lot of different situations, but I feel really good about where we are as a team and what we have coming down the pipe."