Eagles Injury Report: 3 Starters Ruled Out, Illness Update on Alshon Jeffery

DeSean Jackson

Getty Eagles receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson only played one season together as teammates in Philadelphia.

Alshon Jeffery missed two straight practices this week with an undisclosed illness. He’s been ruled out for Sunday, according to head coach Doug Pederson. There had been speculation that Jeffery had tested positive for COVID-19 but that’s not the case.

“Alshon, we were hoping that he would get some practice reps this week. But he has an illness. It’s not related to COVID,” Pederson told reporters on Friday. “It’s just an illness, and so he’s been out of the building the last couple days, so he’ll be out.”

The tall, lanky possession receiver had been back at practice in a limited capacity (read: individual drills) as he continues to test out his surgically-repaired foot. He was trending in the right direction until this sickness forced him out of the facility.

Other guys missing Friday’s practice included defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (personal, no injury) and cornerback Avonte Maddox (ankle). Cox is fine while Maddox is out.

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Jackson Ruled Out, Needs ‘No Soreness’

Meanwhile, DeSean Jackson remains sidelined with a lingering hamstring issue. The veteran speedster was ruled out for Sunday after being a limited participant at Friday’s practice.

Said Pederson: “DeSean is another one that we’re still trying to get through today to see where he’s at, and try to see if he can make it to game time.”

It’s been one injury after another for Jackson after the team traded for him two offseasons ago. He basically missed the entire 2019 campaign with a core-muscle issue, then (begrudgingly) underwent surgery to fix it.

This year, the 33-year-old has been nursing that hamstring injury since Week 3 while seeing an odd decrease in snaps. Jackson has 10 catches for 121 yards on 20 targets.

When Pederson was asked what the hold-up has been in his recovery, the head coach preached patience. He’s working closely with the team’s director of sports performance, Ted Rath, on a strict strength and conditioning plan.

“It’s all about strengthening and getting him healthy there and making sure that he can — there’s no soreness,” Pederson said. “You want him to be 100 percent, and so just trusting that plan, that those guys have put together for DeSean, is really what I lean on.”

Quez Watkins Update, Too

Whatever happened to sixth-round draft pick Quez Watkins? The Eagles activated him to the 21-day practice window last week and there haven’t been any additional updates. He hasn’t been practicing and was rumored to still be two weeks away from a return.

On Friday, Pederson supplied an ambiguous answer on the rookie receiver’s status and timetable.

“Quez was one of the players we activated from the IR list, so he’s been working in practice,” the head coach said. “He’s been getting himself back into game shape. We haven’t made a decision yet on his status, but he’s doing well. He’s doing well.”

Watkins initially hit short-term IR on Sept. 6 and then hit the 21-day practice window on Sept. 29. It’s a fluid situation.