Two dirty hits on DeSean Jackson last week are going to go unpunished, according to reports. The jarring knocks that left the Eagles receiver flailing on the ground after a punt return late in the fourth quarter weren’t deemed illegal.
Giants defensive back Corey Ballentine was flagged 15 yards on the field for lowering his helmet and initiating contact, but a second hit — the one that landed Jackson on IR — wasn’t called for a penalty. Madre Harper awkwardly targeted and piled on Jackson while he was lying on the ground and bent his ankle backwards. No flag.
— Roto Street Journal (RSJ) (@RotoStJournal) October 23, 2020
Jackson is out for six to eight weeks with a high-ankle sprain. There is an outside shot the 33-year-old speed threat could return in December or for an Eagles playoff run. That’s not the point. The NFL should have punished Harper for the dirty play, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported no fines or suspensions are being handed down.
#Giants DB Madre Harper was not fined for shoving a player after an #Eagles touchdown, nor for a late hit on the play where WR DeSean Jackson was injured last week. CB Corey Ballentine was not fined for lowering the head to initiate on Jackson, who was injured.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 31, 2020
The Eagles, specifically head coach Doug Pederson, took the high road (per usual) when asked about whether Harper’s hit was dirty or illegal.
“Well, listen, it’s not my place publicly to comment on that,” Pederson told reporters on Oct. 23. “It’s a play we’ll turn in to the league. Obviously, they flagged it, the officials got it right in the game. It’s unfortunate because of the injury. That’s something that’s in the league’s hands. If there’s any ramifications, it will come down from them. Not my place to comment on that.”
Follow the Heavy on Eagles Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Jackson Volunteered for Tragic Punt Return
Jackson had come up to special-teams coordinator Dave Fipp on the sideline and volunteered to go out for what would eventually turn into a tragic punt return. He was hoping to give Philly a spark with a vintage D-Jacc momentum-changing play. Things quickly turned sour thanks to Ballentine and Harper.
“He knew it was a spot where really the team needed him,” Fipp told reporters. “He wanted a chance to step up and make a play for the team. So obviously he jumped back in there to take that kick and obviously it’s unfortunate what happened.”
DeSean Jackson was helped to the locker room with a leg injury after a late hit
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 23, 2020
Fipp, much like Pederson, wouldn’t say anything negative about the Giants players involved or the refs making the non-call.
“In terms of the hit and all that, I think some people are talking about that,” Fipp said. “Obviously, I’m going to stay away from that myself personally but yeah, disappointed in the injury there for sure.”
READ NEXT: Travis Fulgham Makes Impact vs. 49ers