DeSean Jackson cleared to practice
PHILADELPHIA -- DeSean Jackson was back at practice, running around and making catches.
That was no small feat considering the violent hit he took 17 days earlier.
"It feels good," Jackson said Wednesday. "Being away from the games and practices and things like that has been hard, to sit around and just watch and stuff, so it's good to get back out there and get going."
The Pro Bowl wide receiver sustained a concussion when he took a vicious helmet-first shot from Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson in Philadelphia's 31-17 win over Atlanta on Oct. 17.
Jackson laid flat on the ground, motionless after the hit. Robinson was immobile for a bit, too.
But Jackson could be back on the field when the Eagles (4-3) host Indianapolis (5-2) on Sunday. He has passed post-concussion testing, and took part in his first full practice session.
"We'll see," Jackson said when asked if he will start. "Go out through the week and see how I do and things like that. So it's still only Wednesday so we still have a couple days to kind of get a feel for how I'm doing and things like that."
Jackson missed Philadelphia's 37-19 loss at Tennessee. The Eagles had a bye last week.
Robinson also suffered a concussion on the play, and sat out one game. The Falcons had a bye last week, but his status for this week is uncertain. Robinson is appealing the $50,000 fine he received from the NFL for the hit.
Jackson couldn't remember the collision, a typical consequence for anyone who suffers a head injury of that nature. The diminutive playmaker -- Jackson is generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds -- insists he won't be afraid to get hit when he returns. This was his second concussion in two seasons.
"People can talk and say everything you can about me having it in my mind. At the end of the day, I still have to go out there and play football," Jackson said. "I'm not going to worry about it being in the back of my mind. It's something that happened, unfortunately, but I still have to go out there and do a job, so I won't be worried about it."
Jackson is a big part of Philadelphia's offense. He has 19 catches for 395 yards and three touchdowns, and also has run for a score. He's a dangerous punt returner, too.
The 23-year-old Jackson is a speedy, shifty player who can score from anywhere on the field whenever he touches the ball. He's averaged 44.3 yards per score on his 22 touchdowns in three seasons, including playoffs. Eleven of those TDs have been from 50 yards or longer.
"Anytime you get a concussion, obviously it's not that good and dealing with your brain and things like that," Jackson said. "It's unfortunate, but I'll be right back to where I need to be, just going out there and still being able to play and stuff like that."
Robinson's hit on Jackson, along with similar shots in other games that day, forced the NFL to take a closer look at helmet hits. Fines were increased and players were warned that flagrant hits could result in suspension.
"I'm not going to say I was surprised," Jackson said. "It's just something that happened and the NFL had to do whatever they had to do to deal with it. At the end of the day, it's part of football. You play football, you get tackled, you get hit, it's a physical game."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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