It would have been really boring if DeSean Jackson was watching from the sideline the first time his new team faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It's been roughly five months since the Eagles unceremoniously dumped Jackson following the best season of his career, and it's been about four days since Jackson sprained his shoulder during Washington's Week 2 win against Jacksonville. The former probably has a lot to do with why the latter won't keep him off the field against Philadelphia.
"If it's all on me, I'm playing. I don't plan on missing this game," Jackson told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Who knows how effective Jackson can be one week after a shoulder sprain – the same injury effectively ended Morris Claiborne's preseason this year. But having Philadelphia's best player of the past five years on the field for Washington undoubtedly makes the game more interesting.
The injury has helped hamper Jackson's new start with Washington. Through two games, he has 81 yards on nine catches – most of which came in the season-opening loss to Houston. He'll need to bounce back from the setback quickly if he's going to match his 1,332-yard campaign last year for the Eagles.
Best of all is that this first meeting between the division rivals is happening at Lincoln Financial Field, where Eagles fans will have an opportunity to greet Jackson. It's a bit of an odd circumstance, because usually when a star player changes teams, it was his decision.
For instance, Cowboys fans are bound to have some words for Jason Hatcher when the 2013 Pro Bowlers returns to AT&T Stadium in October. He signed with [embedded_ad]
Washington after the Cowboys opted not to offer him a new deal.
Jackson, on the other hand, was released by the Eagles in the prime of an All-Pro career. I suppose you can blame him for signing with a division rival – and he probably did that on purpose – but that fault lies much more immediately with the Eagles than Jackson.
I highly doubt any of this will stop Jackson from receiving a loud chorus of boos when he takes the field Sunday, and that's why it'll be so much fun.
The Eagles are currently 11th in the league in pass defense, allowing an average of just 207 yards per game – though they did allow a 110-yard, two-touchdown day from undrafted rookie Allen Hurns. The combo of Jackson and Pierre Garcon will be far and away their toughest challenge so far, assuming the speedster is effective.
For entertainment's sake, I hope he is. It would be a lot of fun to see the Eagles cope with one of those all-too-familiar game breaking plays from Jackson.