NFL Wire News

Redskins WR Jackson more focused on health than on Eagles

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ASHBURN, Va. — After shockingly being cut by the Philadelphia Eagles in March, Washington receiver DeSean Jackson was very pumped for the Redskins’ Week 3 game in Philadelphia. The 2013 Pro Bowl pick responded with an 81-yard touchdown among his four catches for 117 yards.

However, with Washington at 3-11 and with his legs so beat up that he was inactive in Week 14 against St. Louis and was clearly not at full speed last week against the New York Giants, Jackson is much more subdued about Saturday’s rematch with the Eagles.

“I don’t care too much about that,” Jackson said of facing his old team for the second time. “I’m really just trying to get back to 100 percent. Hopefully this week I’ll feel a little better. It’s definitely been tough. Nobody wants to be a loser.”

Jackson’s numbers are down from his career highs of 82 catches and 1,332 yards, but he still leads the league with 19.1 yards per catch. His five touchdowns are as many as he scored last year and his 957 yards not only lead the Redskins but leave him just 43 shy of the fourth 1,000-yard season of his seven-year career.

“He’s a very good wide receiver but … the last couple weeks he’s been dealing with an injury and he hasn’t been quite the same,” coach Jay Gruden said on a conference call with Philadelphia media. “I’m a ‘what-have-you-done-for-me-lately’ kind of guy and lately we haven’t seen the DeSean we need to see.”

–Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s career-high 12.5 sacks are more than twice as many as any Washington teammate has produced. They’re also the second-most in the NFC. And three players have registered more in a season for the Redskins.

“It’s been nice to see the production, but it would feel a lot better if it was coming in wins,” said Kerrigan, who has produced despite the loss of fellow Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo to a season-ending torn pec in Week 7.

“I think (Kerrigan has) got to be reckoned with every week,” Gruden said. “He’s a guy that’s relentless with his approach to every pass rush. Twelve and a half is a great number. I think he can get more and hopefully he’ll finish up strong and be recognized as one of the top pass rushers in the league. And he’s doing it right now with a young guy (rookie Trent Murphy) on the other side and without (injured defensive end) Jason Hatcher, so he’s really stepped up his game. He’s a great kid, great player and great competitor, and he’s one of those guys that just fits in a great core of guys that we’d like to have here for a long time.”


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