The Eagles picked up a Week 1 win, but might have lost one of their biggest free agent acquisitions in the process.
Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson suffered a “significant” foot injury during Sunday’s season opener that is “going to require some time” to heal, according to head coach Doug Pederson.
The Eagles are still awaiting some test results that will tell them if Jackson needs surgery, so Pederson couldn’t say whether or not Jackson has a chance to return this season.
Either way, the loss of Jackson is a significant one. The Eagles signed the 29-year-old former Pro Bowler to be the starter next to Fletcher Cox and upgraded one of the weakest spots from the 2018 roster.
Jackson needed to be carted into the locker room from the sideline after getting hurt in the fourth quarter and was wearing a walking boot on his foot in the locker room. After the game, Jackson called it “a little injury,” but this is clearly more than that.
Without Jackson, the Eagles at least have much better depth at DT than they did a season ago. Presumably, Tim Jernigan will see the biggest upswing in snaps, followed by Hassan Ridgeway.
Jernigan missed most of last season after a back surgery. And Ridgeway was added in a trade on Day 3 of the draft in the spring.
Jernigan on Sunday picked up his first full sack since Nov. 19, 2017. He’s finally healthy.
“I thought Jernigan was disruptive at times,” Pederson said. “I thought Hassan got in there, especially late in the game when Malik came out and had a couple pressure moments there. And getting in game action, it’s a little different. Speed’s a little different. I thought both guys were disruptive and Timmy in particular did some really nice things.”
The Eagles cut Treyvon Hester at final cuts and then Hester signed with the Redskins, so the Eagles are light at defensive tackle. They have Bruce Hector on the practice squad, so he could possibly be called up. Pederson said the team might make a roster move on Tuesday.
As they did at times on Sunday anyway, the Eagles can also move Brandon Graham or Vinny Curry inside to play DT on passing downs. Both players have done that plenty in their careers, but Pederson admitted that puts some extra stress on those edge rushers.
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