Jackson benched Sunday; status for Thursday unknown
This was supposed to be the season that would lead
to a set-for-life contract for DeSean Jackson. Instead, it's turning
into a season that could be the Pro Bowl wide receiver's last with the
Two weeks after being suspended for a game for
missing a team meeting, Jackson was benched for the entire fourth
quarter of Sunday's ugly 38-20 loss to the New England Patriots after
dropping three passes, including two would-be touchdowns.
Jackson, who feels he is one of the league's top
receivers and wants to be paid in that neighborhood, came into the game
with just 35 receptions and two touchdown catches. He had four catches
for 73 yards against the Patriots, but the two dropped touchdowns
earned him a seat on the bench.
On a third-and-goal from the 4-yard line in the
second quarter, he came across the middle for a Vince Young pass, but
seemed to take his eyes off the ball as Patriots linebacker Tracy White
closed in on him. The ball went off his hands.
On a red-zone possession in the third quarter,
Jackson, who has just one red-zone reception the entire season (in Week
1), wasn't even on the field in either two- or three-wide receiver sets.
After dropping a potential touchdown pass down the
middle late in the third quarter, he never returned to the game,
watching the entire fourth quarter from the sideline.
"It was a decision that was made," Jackson said.
"As a player, I just have to live with it. It happened and I have to
keep coming to work, give my best effort and play hard. Come next week,
I am going to make those plays."
Jackson acknowledged after he was benched two
weeks ago that his contract situation - he'll be a free agent at the
end of the season and has been rebuffed in his attempts to get a new
deal - has weighed heavy on his mind and may be affecting his play.
When asked after the game why Jackson didn't play
in the fourth quarter, coach Andy Reid said, "I just wanted to give the
other guys an opportunity. I just wanted to give them a chance to make
Asked about Jackson's performance, Reid said, "He
has to do a better job."
The Eagles, who fell to 4-7 and all but out of the
playoff hunt, have a short week. They have to fly to Seattle for a
Thursday night game against the Seahawks. It remains to be seen whether
Jackson will start.
Running back LeSean McCoy said he was aware that
Jackson was benched. "We talked about it," he said.
McCoy said he doesn't think Jackson's contract
situation is the reason he played poorly against the Patriots.
"He's a good player," McCoy said. "He just had a
bad game, which everybody has. Nobody's perfect. He didn't play good
today. You just gotta fight through it. I don't think the contract
(situation) had anything to do with it."
LINEUP WATCH: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was benched in the fourth
quarter Sunday after dropping two potential touchdown passes. He's
already been benched for a game this season for missing a meeting.
Coach Andy Reid may be down enough on him to not start him Thursday
night against Seattle.
BY THE NUMBERS: 24 - Eagles quarterbacks have just 24 red-zone
completions this season in 50 attempts.
--LB Moise Fokou injured his ankle in Sunday's
game against the Patriots. He isn't expected to play Thursday against
--QB Mike Vick is questionable for Thursday's game
against Seattle. He missed his second straight game Sunday with
--WR Jeremy Maclin missed his second straight game
with shoulder and hamstring injuries. He aggravated the hamstring
injury in practice on Wednesday. It's uncertain whether he'll be able
to play Thursday against Seattle.
--WR DeSean Jackson was benched for the entire
fourth quarter Sunday after dropping two potential touchdown passes.
--DT Cullen Jenkins injured his thumb in the first
half Sunday, but returned to the game and played with the injury.
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- Eagles game chatter
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