DeSean Jackson Will Need to Elevate His Game with Jeremy Maclin Out for Philadelphia Eagles

By Christopher Gamble

The Philadelphia Eagles did not get off to a great start in training camp after learning that Jeremy Maclin would be lost for the season due to a torn ACL. There is still talent on the roster that can step up and help fill the void but DeSean Jackson will need to prove he is capable of carrying the passing game, regardless of who is throwing him the football.

Jackson has seen his yardage totals drop over the last four seasons from a career high 1,156 yards in 2009 to 1,056 in 2010, 961 in 2011 and 700 in 2012. Last season, Jackson was dealing with injuries of his own and managed to get on the field for only 11 games and caught only 45 passes and two touchdowns.

Jackson has had his issues but there is no denying the talent and Jackson will need to use that talent and make it translate into results for the Eagles. That won’t be easy. The entire team is learning a new offense under new head coach Chip Kelly and the quarterback situation is still unsettled.

More importantly, Jackson will need to stay healthy himself. He hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year in 2008. Granted, he played in 15 games twice and 14 games once but last season he missed five games. He will need to stay on the field and become the go-to receiver for Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, G.J. Kinne or Dennis Dixon or whoever else takes snaps under center.

Jackson won’t be alone in needing to step up Riley Cooper, Jason Avant and Arrelious Benn will all need to elevate their games without Maclin. If nobody stands out the Eagles might be forced to look on the waiver wire or free agent market to find that receiver that can fill Maclin’s void. For now, it will be up to Jackson and company to show they are capable of filling that role. The auditions started on Saturday and will continue through camp.

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