Hopefully, Tyree Jackson did enough in three weeks to earn a roster spot. The converted college quarterback fractured a bone in his back and could miss eight to 10 weeks. No surgery is required, according to a Philadelphia Eagles’ spokesman.
The injury occurred during Tuesday’s practice after Jackson landed awkwardly trying to make a leaping catch in the back of the end zone. The 23-year-old tight end returned to the field, but further evaluation revealed a fracture. It’s a huge bummer for one of the Eagles’ standout stars this summer. Jackson has been a “specimen” at camp where he was inching closer toward winning the third tight end spot. Richard Rodgers now jumps to the front of the line for that job.
In the meantime, the Eagles will have to make a tough decision on what to do with Jackson. They could place him on injured reserve, which would end his 2021 season before it started. Or they could put him on the 53-man roster and add him to IR later. That would take up a healthy roster spot, though. One more option: cut him outright and hope Jackson clears waivers for the practice squad. The latter doesn’t seem likely as the Eagles would risk losing him for good.
Things had been going so well for the 6-foot-7, 239-pounder from Michigan. Jackson made the decision to switch from quarterback to tight end last November.
“Every day is a day to learn. I’ve got great guys in the (tight ends) room in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, veteran guys I’m learning from every day,” Jackson told reporters, via the team’s website. “Every day it’s something new to learn. When you make a switch, it’s all new, but having those guys around who have done it at a high level for a long time has helped me a lot.”
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Depth Chart at Tight End Takes Hit
Rodgers becomes the instant front-runner for the third tight end spot with Jackson down. He has seen action in 22 games for the Eagles since 2018 after a successful run in Green Bay. Other in-house options include Jason Croom and Jack Stoll.
The Eagles could explore picking up a veteran tight end off the street, too. Tyler Eifert remains available in free agency, as does Super Bowl hero Trey Burton. Philly waived Caleb Wilson on Aug. 14 and the Washington Football Team claimed him the next day. Jackson’s loss – albeit a brief one – could open the door for more roster moves.
Dallas Goedert Impressed with ‘Specimen’
Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz are interchangeable as TE1. That competition continues to play out at camp. But Jackson’s name was on the tip of Goedert’s tongue when he was asked about players standing out this summer. He called Jackson a “specimen” and applauded the way he improved his stance and route running.
“Tyree’s been awesome,” Goedert said. “His improvement from OTAs has been amazing. He’s a hard worker, he really focuses on the details that coaches give him. He just comes out here, he’s a big body, he goes up and makes contested catches, hard catches, he looks great.”