DeSean Jackson Injury: What This Means for the Philadelphia Eagles

Troy BallardCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17:  DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles is helped off the field after being  laid out by Dunta Robinson #23 of the Atlanta Falcons during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 17, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Both players were injured on the play and had to be helped off the field.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

DeSean Jackson was injured in the first quarter of the Eagles' Sunday matchup against the Falcons. It has just been released that he sustained a concussion. Jackson left the game and did not return.

After lying on the ground, in an almost lifeless state, it would seem there would have been a much more serious injury sustained. I'm not saying that a concussion isn't a serious injury, but it seemed as if it were going to be much worse. 

The hit was totally unwarranted, and some could make the case that it was an intentional hit. It seems kind of hard to believe that Dunta Robinson accidentally ran full speed into Jackson's shoulder and didn't see him miss the catch. Especially since Jackson had burned the Falcons defense for two touchdowns and a total of 71 yards. But this is not the point. 

The bad news: This is Jackson's second concussion in two years of playing with the Eagles, which means he will definitely miss time.

The problem with concussions is that there is really no definite amount of time that can be given. Every concussion has a different degree of seriousness and not every situation fits an exact criteria. 

However, not all is lost, Eagles fans.

It's hard to see a receiver, who came into the game and had two touchdowns in the short amount of time he played, be knocked out of commission. The Eagles have definitely lost one of their major threats, and it is definitely going to make opposing defenses' jobs easier. Fortunately for the Eagles, they have many threats on offense. 

Who would have guessed that Jeremy Maclin would step in as the starter for Jackson, following his injury, and have a career game? I wouldn't have. 

Maclin stepped up his play and proved that he could fill in for an All-Star player like Jackson. Maclin was able to finish the game with seven receptions, 159 yards and two touchdowns. These are stats that win games. 

Maclin has shown that he can step in as the starter, and be a viable threat for opposing defenses. He's able to burn corners and safeties deep, and also has the ability to block for the run. I bet he could even run the ball like Jackson. So Jackson's receiving slot can be filled by another, very talented receiver.

So what does that leave? His returning abilities. 

Plain and simple, Jackson is the most explosive returner in the entire NFL. So there is really no way to "replace" him in that position. But, the Eagles do have a player that showed he can get the job done—Jorrick Calvin. A rookie out of Troy that showed he can move the ball on punt returns.

Over the course of the game, Calvin had two returns for 46 yards. One of the kick returns was only two yards, but that was not exactly his fault, due to the poor blocking on the return. On the other, Calvin was able to break a big return for 44 yards, which set up an Eagles touchdown.

Calvin may not be Jackson, but he can get the job done.

There is one thing that Jackson brings that cannot be replaced: explosiveness. Of course the Eagles have other explosive players, but no one as big as Jackson. I can't name another player in the NFL that makes a catch, and before you know it, scores a touchdown.  

Jackson will be missed in Philadelphia, especially on the offense. But, the Eagles can win and move the ball without him. They showed that today against the Falcons.

I expect to see Maclin and Celek getting a healthy dose of passes in the Eagles' next game against the Titans.