Malik Jackson’s Eagles career so far has amounted to six games, 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Jackson, the centerpiece of the Eagles’ 2019 free agency class, missed virtually all of last year with a foot injury and just as he was starting to get rolling this year he suffered a quad injury against the Ravens.
Jackson missed the Giants game and was limited to 17 ineffective snaps against the Cowboys. But he was a full participant in practice on Thursday and plans on being ready for Sunday’s Giants rematch.
We’ve seen flashes from Jackson.
Jackson has been decent when he's been healthy. When he's on, he's a true force inside. His 11 quarterback hits so far this year are fifth-most by a defensive tackle this year.
But for $10 million a year, the Eagles need consistent production the second half of the year from the 30-year-old Jackson.
Jackson didn't give his quad a complete vote of confidence Thursday, but he does sound optimistic.
“I think the quad is getting better,” Jackson said. “It’s one of those things that, I think the last time I went out there, just that night game I let it get a little cold and it just had a minor setback. It’s been doing very well. That bye week really helped me out and I (was) able to practice full-go … today, so I’m very happy where it’s at and I’m ready to get back out there.”
With Hassan Ridgeway out for the year and Javon Hargrave still finding his way after switching schemes and teams and missing the entire preseason, the Eagles will be leaning heavily on Jackson to make plays when Fletcher Cox is doubled.
The Eagles are looking for their third straight win Sunday. They’ve won eight straight against the Giants, and they’re 21-4 since 2008 and 11-2 in East Rutherford.
Jackson said he learned a lot watching the first Giants game, a 22-21 win three weeks ago.
“You get to … see Javon and Fletch go out there and do it, so I just put myself in their situation,” he said. “Being able to see J do his thing on the right side allows me to put myself in that position mentally, so I think it’s helped me, I think I’m mentally getting ready, watching the film from last game, watching those guys (and) put myself in that position and go out there and be stout.”
Jackson’s 23.5 sacks from 2015 through 2018 with the Broncos and Jaguars were seventh-most in the league among defensive tackles during that four-year span.
That’s the Malik Jackson the Eagles paid $30 million for, and that’s the Malik Jackson the Eagles need.