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Should Redskins’ Jackson play vs. Ravens?

Aug 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

D-Jackson-OTAs

DeSean Jackson is unlikely to play in Baltimore when the Redskins take on the Ravens in the “dress rehearsal” third preseason game, according to Jay Gruden. The wide receiver suffered a shoulder sprain on August 6 during the joint practices with the Texans.

At the time it was announced that the injury was only going to keep Jackson out for one or two weeks. The longer time frame would have put him out for the Redskins’ first preseason game on August 13 and possibly the second one on August 20. But the Ravens game on August 29, just over three full weeks after the injury, certainly appeared to be a realistic possibility for Jackson to get some snaps with the offense.

Gruden said yesterday that keeping Jackson out is a matter of finding a comfort level in dealing with his injury.

“He’s got full range of motion it looks like out there doing individual drills,” said Gruden. “It’s another thing if we just don’t want to get it hit again on game day. I think doing the non-contact stuff he looks pretty good. But with shoulder pads on, we’re not going to do that until we feel like he’s 100 percent. He’s not quite there yet.”

Since top-line players don’t play in the fourth preseason game it appears that Jackson will make his game debut on September 13, the regular season opener against the Dolphins. That will be over five weeks since the original injury. But Jackson said that he’ll be ready.

“Won’t have to worry about me at all,” Jackson said on Tuesday. “I’ll be the same person I’ve always been: Making plays and being the guy that brings the energy to this team.”

He caught some passes and participated in individual drills but he wasn’t in pads so it is unlikely that he participated in full team drills. (Teams do not have to disclose such information until the week before the regular season starts.)

It should be noted that DeAngelo Hall, who suffered a twice-torn Achilles last fall and has dealt groin and, most recently, toe injuries since the start of training camp, will be playing. Nobody would have batted an eye if Hall wanted to tap out of this one. Although he will be a bit rusty after missing the last 13 games of last year and the second preseason game this year, he is likely to start at corner when the Dolphins come to town.

Some would like to see Hall’s attitude rub off on Jackson. Although it is always dangerous for anyone but a doctor with full access to all of the to make a medical judgment it seems that he could play if he thought it was important. And with the starting offense in need of a boost after failing to get into the end zone in either of the preseason games it would be good to have their top weapon participating against the tough Ravens defense.

But it is unlikely to matter much once the regular season starts. The season will not succeed or fail based on scoring a preseason touchdown. As Jackson said, he will be ready to play. He and Robert Griffin III have been getting in some work and will continue to do so between now and September 13. Getting another 15 to 20 snaps in the mix might help some but it’s not a make or break situation. And the risk of him suffering a setback, not matter how slight, isn’t worth it.

  1. goback2rfk - Aug 26, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    Yeah we better not risk Desean in the pre-season. There is already a good chance he wont make it through every game during the regular season. Fast, smart, a lot of talent, but does not have much meat on the bone. Every time Rob or Desean gets hit I cringe cause I know the cart off has already got 2 tires on the field.

  2. hitmeimopen - Aug 26, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    No real way to get into the mindset of either DJ or coaching staff on this one. My big problem with him taking so long to get back to work is his downfield blocking. I guess he doesn’t feel obligated to improve there. Or he still hurts too much to be driven to improve there. Like I said, only he knows the real reason behind his inactivity. Hey, we’re just fans, man! Lots of opinions and nothing to base them on.

    • John - Aug 26, 2015 at 10:35 PM

      Didn’t think he was a great downfield blocker . So don’t think preseason will help with that. He’s that speed we need.

  3. rtcwon - Aug 26, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    The comparison to Hall isn’t valid. Different roles, stages in career and injuries. Even a young, shut down corner needs to practice tackling. DJax will be playing through pain all season, no need to start that in the pre-season.

    • bangkokben - Aug 26, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      Hall has to play if he doesn’t want to slip in the depth chart. The biggest news is that no one has stepped up to take advantage of his absence.

  4. warpath1 - Aug 26, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    I am still not a fan of preseason games. They dont count for anything and you have veterans who just want to get through it and rookies trying to make a name for themselves. The different level of intensity is where players get hurt. At least reduce it to 2 games

  5. babyteal1 - Aug 26, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    Hall doesn’t need to play in preseason…lets get real.

    • babyteal1 - Aug 26, 2015 at 1:50 PM

      Sorry I meant…D Jax

  6. redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 26, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    No need to play Jackson in any preseason game at this point. Get the shoulder to 100% and get the reps in practice instead

  7. redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 26, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Galette possibly tore ACL?

    • bangkokben - Aug 26, 2015 at 3:18 PM

      I heard it was an achilles but same result.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 26, 2015 at 3:53 PM

        I got a text on it but you’re right it looks like an achilles. Very disappointing. Bates may get a spot on the roster after all

        • bangkokben - Aug 26, 2015 at 7:17 PM

          Horrible news. Certainly opens the door for Jeffcoat and/or Bates.

  8. bangkokben - Aug 26, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    So each unit has lost a starter already for the season. Niles Paul, starting tight-end; Adam Hayward, special teams captain; and Junior Galette, starting OLB. If anyone sees the injury bug, stomp on it for me.

  9. goback2rfk - Aug 26, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    That is why you do not take an Offensive Lineman so high in the draft. You take a pass rusher, you take a beast, you take a game changer. No look at us, loosing Galette is HUGE I mean HUGE. Fuc* **** * *** *

    • skinsgame - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:19 AM

      Wow. 3-4weeks ago he wasn’t even on the team and now they can’t overcome his loss? They’ll be ok. After all, they have the best QB in the league.

      • goback2rfk - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:58 AM

        Yeah I am over acting a little bit, but I was excited about Galette. I thought he was gunna be big for the Skins. I difference maker on the defense. Guess its next man up

        • skinsgame - Aug 27, 2015 at 5:56 AM

          No doubt they’d be better with him. I’m becoming numb to the notion of losing players to injury due to the frequency.

  10. murphsman - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    No way. Too many injuries already. With Paul already done and Reed having the injury history he does, we need to keep one playmaker healthy for the regular season.

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