Will DeSean Jackson fly for the Eagles again?
The Super Bowl champs from just 2 years ago are down a starting receiver. DeSean Jackson suffered a broken left ring finger during Tuesday’s practice. It should hold the speedster out for approximately 3-4 weeks. However, it is reported Jackson has intentions of playing through the pain for Philadelphia’s week 1 matchup verses the Washington Redskins, which is just ten days away.
A franchise with lofty expectations heading into the ’19-’20 season has been plagued by a slough injuries. Defensive starters Nigel Bradham and Fletcher Cox haven’t seen any action for months, while starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, has been held out of competitive play since December ’18. Adding to that laundry list, starting guard Brandon Brooks has been inactive, as he is still recovering from a torn Achilles. Offensive starters, Lane Johnson and Dallas Goedert have unfortunately sustained injuries during pre-season play. The Eagles will be incapable of performing at maximum potential with important contributors sitting on the sidelines.
From Jackson’s point of view, this is not an ideal start for asecond go around with his initial franchise. Jackson’s quarterbacks during his first tenure with the Eagles were primarily Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick. Those previously listed individuals aren’t directly comparable to current Eagles’ quarterback, Carson Wentz. Wentz has more capable arm talent and doesn’t need to escape the pocket as frequently, due to his sizeable frame.
With a scrambling quarterback like Michael Vick, Jackson was expected to break off routes to help his under-duress quarterback. Wentz will incentivize Jackson to not “freestyle” as much, running his routes from start to finish. For that concept to work well, Jackson and Wentz must be on the same page. Every break, cut, and hesitation must be accounted for. Jackson has always be heralded as one of the fastest receivers in the league. By no means is he considered slow, but it is expected for him to lose a step or two at age 32. This chemistry is imperative for the success of the Eagles and isn’t something that is garnered overnight.
Injuries 101: Cooper Kupp expectations
NFL Draft Guide 2019-Nick Chubb
Chubb, currently 23 years old, grew up in Georgia, and was, like many other top NFL athletes, a two-sport athlete: football and track. As a junior in HS, he led the state of Georgia in rushing yards with 2,721 yards and 38 TDs. He followed that up with 2,690 yards and 41 TDs in his senior year…beast. Chubb was also a stud in track & field, competing in shot put, long jump, 100 and 200-meter dash. A 4-star recruit heading into college, he chose to stay in-state & go to University of Georgia. As a freshman he was backup to stud Todd Gurley, eventually taking over for him after Gurley was suspended. In October of 2015 Chubb suffered a significant knee injury and missed the rest of the season. The following year he began splitting carries with the now Patriots’ Sony Michel. Instead of skipping his senior year at Georgia for the NFL, Chubb decided to return and averaged 6.0 YPC for 223 carries (proving his knee was healthy) and 15 TDs. Chubb finished his college career 2nd in all-time SEC rushing yards, only to Herschel Walker, to show you how dominant he was.
Chubb ran a 4.52 second 40-yard dash at the Combine, leading the Cleveland Browns to draft him at the 35thoverall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He started his career behind Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson, but by mid-October (when Hyde was traded to JAX) Chubb took over the backfield. He finished his rookie season with 192 carriers for 996 yards ( 5.18 YPC), 8 TDs, 20 receptions, 149 receiving yards & 2 more TDs. There were points during late 2018 season when he was the most dominant player on the field.
Injury-wise it appears Chubb suffered only 2 injuries of note throughout his college & NFL careers. An ankle sprain in the 2016 season that sounds like it was a Grade 2, taking about 6 weeks to fully heal, but the details are limited. His most concerning injury occurred in October 2015 when Chubb dislocated his knee, causing him to tear his PCL, MCL and LCL along with articular (& likely) meniscal damage. These are very significant injuries and many athletes never return to the playing field. I’m astonished that Chubb did not tear his ACL at this time, but he basically tore the other 3 major ligaments of the knee. The great news is that with how productive he has been since the injury you would never know that he suffered such a significant knee injury. Chubb has had 2 solid seasons (2017 in college, 2018 in NFL) where he has proved that his knee can tolerate the wear and tear and that he is still dominant (5.2 YPC in NFL). In the long-run I will be concerned about his cartilage & the development of osteoarthritis (like Todd Gurley) but the good news is that so far, so good.
With how dominant the Browns offense has the potential to be in 2019, with Chubb as their lead back, he could easily finish as a top 10-15 back. Baker’s arm slinging it to OBJ, Landry, Higgins and Njoku, and Duke traded to Houston, this is Chubb’s backfield. Hilliard will likely fill in for him if he needs a breather but overall I really like Chubb this year. The talent is there, the volume is there. Currently he has minimal injury concerns and if you can grab him in the late 2nd or early 3rd round, do it. Ideally he’s a better RB2 but if you go elite WR in the first, Chubb has the potential to be an elite RB1 in 2019. Draft him with confidence.
Injury Risk: Low 4/10.