Eagles center Jamaal Jackson is out for the season with a knee injury.
“Jamaal Jackson has ACL tear and he’ll be out the remaining part of the season," Andy Reid said in his Monday news conference. "He had an MRI this morning."
Jackson, asked what he might want to say to Eagles fans, texted your Eagletarian: "I'm heartbroken that I can't help my teammates win a divisional title and possibly a Super Bowl. But I thank (the fans) for all the support that they have showed me over the years, and somehow, some way I'll be back on the field in the future!"
Jackson has been the Birds' starting center since Hank Fraley went down midway through the 2005 season -- every game, 71 in a row. Jackson said he would be visiting Dr. James Andrews in Alabama within the next few days.
Reid was asked how big of a loss not having Jackson will be: "He's a good football player. We're fortunate that we have Nick [Cole] here who is a center. He's on the same page as Donovan [McNabb] with the snap counts and everything."
Actually, that was a bit of a problem in Sunday's victory over the Broncos, with Cole, who has been starting at right guard, looking a little rusty on the snaps. He snapped the ball too soon at the Birds' 1, creating a fumble that Donovan McNabb fell on. Another time, Cole dragged the ball on a shotgun snap, causing a false start by Winston Justice.
Reid said those problems will be worked out with Cole getting a full week of practice at center.
This is a terrible break for Jackson, the leader of the Eagles' offensive line and perhaps its most consistent member.
ACL injuries sometimes take a full year to recover from -- just ask Stacy Andrews, who could get another shot at right guard now. That might mean Jackson isn't really himself until the end of next season.
Team sources have said that Andrews, inactive since the Nov. 15 loss at San Diego, has improved with his confidence in his rebuilt ACL and with his technique, which the Birds considered pretty crude when he arrived from Cincinnati last offseason. It will be interesting to see whether Andrews or Max Jean-Gilles takes over at right guard this week, with Cole moving.
"Stacy's in the mix," Reid said.
Reid also reiterated Monday that having Macho Harris play nearly ever snap at free safety and return kicks "was probably too much."
To see Marcus Hayes' Talking Points from Sunday's win over Denver and Paul Domowitch's By The Numbers, click here.