How Will The Eagles Replace Malik Jackson Going On Injured Reserve
The Eagles have lost one of their big offseason pickups, losing defensive tackle Malik Jackson.
In Sunday’s fourth quarter, Jackson suffered a Lisfranc injury. NFL Netowrk's Mike Garafolo reports Jackson will undergo surgery next week, and will be sidelined for the rest of the season, with the Eagles placing him on injured reserve.
The plan is for the team to replace him on the roster with Akeem Spence, who they signed on Tuesday night.
"Malik [Jackson] is an important part of what we do, and we'll certainly miss him when he's not on the field," Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said Tuesday. "But we have plenty of guys that can step up and play. And that's nothing new in the NFL, doesn't change our task from game to game and it doesn't change our task over the course of the year."
With Jackson out, the Eagles must find a replacement for their defensive tackle next to Fletcher Cox.
Timmy Jernigan and Hassan Ridgeway are both on the roster and Spence was a 16 game starter for the Miami Dolphins last season.
The first opportunity for playing time figures to go to Jernigan, who was outstanding the first half of the 2017 season, before injuries started to slow him down.
He's a good player," Schwartz explained. "We saw that in the plays that he played on Sunday and we're going to need him to get back to that, which I think he is. He made a lot of plays in training camp practices, maybe some that you guys saw, maybe some that you guys didn't. But we have a lot of confidence in him, not just against the run but against pass also."
Jernigan's playing time will increase, but he had a solid game on Sunday, with a tackle of loss and a sack in a part-time role. He played 25 snaps against Washington, that number should increase, as should Ridgeway's who played 24 snaps on Sunday.
On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson specifically mentioned both Jernigan and Ridgeway's efforts.
"I thought Jernigan was disruptive at times," Pederson described. "I thought Hassan got in there especially late in the game when Malik came out, had a couple of pressure moments there. And again, getting in game action, it’s a little bit different, speed is a little bit different, but I thought both guys were disruptive, and Timmy in particular did some really nice things."
The Eagles will need them to remain disruptive and continue to produce, losing Jackson is a big blow to the defense, but as the 2017 and 2018 Eagles proved, its time for next man up.