DeSean Jackson’s absence from this week’s OTA practices hasn’t generated as much discussion inside Redskins Park as it has outside of the facility.
At least, that’s how veteran linebacker Ryan Kerrigan views the situation.
“I don’t think so,” Kerrigan said Friday on ESPN 980, asked if his teammates were “really upset” about Jackson's decision to skip the first week of voluntary practices. “Of course, you’d rather have him there than not.”
Kerrigan also acknowledged that there’s a different set of unwritten rules for star players vs. the rank and file.
“We saw what DeSean can do on the field last year,” Kerrigan said. “He was one of our best players, not only on offense but on the whole team. He’s a guy that showed up every Sunday, and he performed.”
Kerrigan added: “Obviously, you’d want him there just because you like having all the guys there. You like working together and kinda getting that cohesiveness, but at the same time we know what DeSean brings to our team and the kind of big-play ability he brings to the offense.”
Jackson, who is expected to rejoin the team for next week’s OTA sessions, led the NFL in average yards per catch (20.9) and topped the Redskins in receiving yards (1,169) and receiving touchdowns (6) last season, his first in Washington.
“I think the term ‘voluntary’ is used a little loosely,” Kerrigan said. “Most guys are expected to be back when the offseason program starts. A lot of guys, we want to be out here. We want to be getting these reps because we need them. I wish I was out there getting the reps because I know I need to improve and get better for this season. But I can’t unfortunately because of injury. A lot of guys really look at it as not something they have to do, but something they want to do because this is a good opportunity to improve and show the coaches that you have improved or you’re working to improve.”
As for Kerrigan, he’s still on crutches and has been advised to avoid lifting weights for another week. The 26-year-old had his left knee scoped earlier this month after he experienced some soreness and discomfort during workouts.
“The knee is doing well,” he said. “I’m almost two weeks out of surgery. I’m feeling good. I’m ready for the next phase in my rehab and just getting back closer to being myself again.”
There’s no firm timetable for Kerrigan’s return, but he’s expected to be 100-percent by training camp in late July.
“I honestly have come to realize this might be a blessing in disguise,” he said. “My body probably does need a little bit of break from time-to-time. Surgery is never a great thing, but this might be somewhat of a blessing in disguise right here.”