Eagles’ Malik Jackson Doesn’t Want to Hear Teammates’ ‘Boo-Hoo’ Stories

Malik Jackson

Getty Eagles DT Malik Jackson will miss extended time this season with a lower leg injury.

It sucks that Javon Hargrave strained a pectoral muscle in late August. Try breaking a foot in Week 1.

Malik Jackson suffered a Lisfranc injury in the waning minutes of the Eagles’ season-opening win over Washington in 2019. That was it for him. Season over after just one game and 37 total snaps. So while Jackson feels bad for Hargrave, excuse the 290-pounder for not shedding any tears over his injury.

“It sucks but that’s the name of the game,” Jackson told reporters, “and I told him at least he can come back. Don’t come to me with no boo-hoo stories. I lost a year. But I know he’s a strong guy. He’s a fun guy. He’s working hard mentally and when he comes back he’s going to be great.”

The 30-year-old has quickly emerged as one of the team leaders on defense after Malcolm Jenkins’ departure. Jackson was very vocal in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder while taking part in several protests and marches. He also nurtured discussions among his white teammates about race relations and social justice. He admitted that he’s never been part of an organization where the “owner brings people together to talk about social problems.”

“I think it’s very welcoming. It’s very wanted,” Jackson said. “Side note, personally I think this country needs to see justice for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.”

Leadership comes in many forms. Jackson won a Super Bowl in Denver and made the Pro Bowl in 2017, so he knows how to walk the walk and talk the talk. Now he’s finally healthy — remember, a pectoral strain kept him sidelined during last year’s training camp — and coming for it all. He and fellow defensive tackle Fletcher Cox are going to eat. One hundred and 10 percent.

“It’s nice to be able to work with Fletch. I’m excited,” Jackson said. “I had to sit there for a year and day-dream about it, think about it, and now that I’m here you just got to stay healthy and stay consistent and get back to who I was, possibly even 100 and 10 percent better.”

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Jackson Terrorizes Eagles Offense at Camp

On Friday, Jackson was running around like a man on fire. That 110-percent effort he had been talking about was on full display during a grueling two-hour session. The Eagles’ defensive line registered 10 sacks on the afternoon, with Jackson getting to the quarterback three times. Tackling the guy under center isn’t allowed but Jackson proved his point.

“You don’t see any color when you’re out on that field,” Jackson said. “That went away a long time ago.”

Jackson racked up a career-high eight sacks in his lone Pro Bowl season in 2017 for a dominant Jaguars defense that nearly upset the Patriots. If they had, the Eagles may have had to run the famed “Philly Special” against Jackson in the Super Bowl. The Jaguars let Jackson walk after the season despite him posting 70.1-plus pass-rush grades, per Pro Football Focus, and 171 total pressures in three years there.

“I think I have some ground to make up, especially if I can go back to my last year in Jacksonville. I got benched a little bit there and then came here and got injured,” Jackson said. “Definitely, not going to say they forgot about me … I think I just have some ground to make up to make people remember.”

Known more of a pass-rushing tackle than a run-stuffer, Jackson has accumulated 32.5 sacks and 86 quarterback hits in a seven-year career. He inked a three-year deal worth $30 million with Philly in 2019, a rather cheap investment at the time.

The plan was to pair him with Cox to form a fierce one-two punch at defensive tackle, then the Eagles surprisingly added Hargrave to the mix. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has talked about rotating his tackles to keep them fresh, active, and engaged. Some saw the Hargrave move as an indictment on Jackson’s ability to stop the run. He can’t be out on the field for all three downs. That’s not true, according to Jackson.

“I really feel like I’m a three-technique, but I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do to win the ball game,” Jackson said. “So I’m very much a team player and whatever coach calls I’m in there.”

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