The Eagles won 32-27 over the Washington Redskins on Sunday but lost a big piece. During the game, starting DT Malik Jackson had to leave due to what Doug Pederson called a “significant injury.” There is no time-table for his return as of Monday night.
All indications are that Jackson will miss an extended period of time, with a looming possibility of season-ending surgery. Timmy Jernigan now fills in for the injured Jackson as the Eagles look to bolster the depth behind him and Fletcher Cox. Jernigan saw rotational action and also recorded a sack on Sunday. The Eagles luckily have the luxury of Jernigan being familiar with Jim Schwartz’s defense, so there may not be any drop off going forward.
Depth is something that helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl in 2017. That depth will be tested as the only other defensive tackle on the active 53 man roster is local product, Hassan Ridgeway. Let’s take a look at some options the Eagles may be looking at to help solidify the trenches in Jackson’s absence:
1: Bruce Hector – Currently on the Eagles practice squad, Hector seems like the most likely choice to fill in. He played for the Eagles in eight regular-season games last year and is familiar with the defense. Hector recorded 4 total tackles.
2: Muhammad Wilkerson – Wilkerson is a former first-round pick of the Jets and is only 29 years old. Wilkerson, a local Temple product, is a former pro-bowler and two-time second-team All-Pro and last played with the Packers. While he is probably best suited to play defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, he provides a much-needed pass rush skillset from the interior defensive line. Wilkerson has a history of being somewhat of a “loose cannon” so how he fits in the locker room could weigh heavily on if the Eagles would consider him.
3. Chris Long – Now hear me out. We all know Long is retired and he is strictly an outside pass rusher. The addition of Long would be great for the locker room, provide an impact pass rush off the edge, and also allow the Eagles to use Curry and Graham more on the inside, especially on passing downs. This is something the Eagles had tremendous success with in 2017 and would have a very nostalgic Super Bowl feel to it. However, Long has lost significant weight and would have to recondition before being ready to play.
The Eagles are still waiting to get the full injury timeline for Malik Jackson’s injury, but if there is anything we should trust, it should always be that Howie Roseman will make the most calculated and best move for this team.