Marlin Jackson has a ruptured Achilles tendon in his right leg, the team announced this afternoon, after the safety had an MRI. His season is likely over, and very possibly, his career. An Eagles source called signing the oft-injured Jackson in the off-season a "no-risk signing," because most of the contract wasn't guaranteed, but the loss may change some of the team's defensive plans.
The Eagles resumed OTAs today -- with the full squad -- and there were already two injuries to report.
One happened on the field; the other apparently did not.
Safety Marlin Jackson, who is trying to come back from a torn ACL in his right knee, injured his right ankle during 7-on-7 drills inside the indoor facility at the NovaCare Complex. Guard Todd Herremans, meanwhile, did not participate in practice because of a left foot injury.
Herremans had surgery on the same foot last August to repair a stress fracture. He missed the first five games of the season, but did return for the remainder of the year.
The exact extent of each injury is unknown. Jackson will undergo testing and the Eagles said that they will have an update latrer this week. It might not be good news, even though it wasn't one of his knees. Not only did he tear a ligament in his right knee last year, he also tore the ACL in his other knee the previous year.
A team source said that it was still too early for a prognosis, but that it "doesn't seem great."
Jackson was running with the first team at free safety during today's session. He was running upfield to cover wide receiver Jeremy Maclin when he pulled up lame without contact. He took off his gloves immediately and sat on the carpet as the team's training staff looked him over. He was helped off to the sidelines where head trainer Rick Burkholder examined Jackson.
Soon after, Jackson waived his hands up in the air, took off his jersey and left the field sobbing loudly. He was eventually carted away from the facility.
"There was a moment of silence after [Jackson] went down," defensive back Macho Harris said. "You could feel his pain."
Jackson was part of the first two weeks of OTAs. On the first day, he appeared to be running with a limp. He didn't practice as much the next day, but dismissed observations about his gait. The Eagles started practive outside today, but moved inside when storms broke out. The Eagles usually aren't afraid of sitting out a player with leg problems when they move indoors onto turf.
If Jackson's injury is indeed serious, the Eagles may have to shake up their lineup. Harris, who started at free safety most of last season, was moved to cornerback at the start of OTAs. Rookie Nate Allen moved up from the second to first team when Jackson left. Quintin Demps, who has been playing mostly strong safety, is also still in the picture. So is rookie Kurt Coleman, who hasn't been at OTAs because he's still enrolled at Ohio State.
The Eagles signed Jackson, who was a free agent with the Colts, to a two-year deal in March. The contract was loaded with incentives, so the Eagles aren't on the hook for much if Jackson is seriously injured, according to a team source.
Here's a story from earlier this month about Jackson's work to recover from injury.
With Herremans out, Max Jean-Gilles started in his place at left guard. Jean-Gilles had lap-band surgery in April and has already lost more than 35 pounds.
In other injury-related news, cornerback Ellis Hobbs (neck) was involved in most of practice. Linebacker Omar Gaither (foot), who sat out minicamp a month ago, was a full participant. Running back Mike Bell (hamstring), who left practice two weeks ago, appeared to be back at full strength. Center Jamaal Jackson (knee) and defensive end Victor Abiamiri (knee) weren't at practice, as expected, and continued their rehab.
There weren't any no-shows among the veterans for the voluntary workouts. Cornerback Asante Samuel, wide receiver Hank Baskett and punter Sav Rocca have been the only vets that haven't used the NovaCare as their home base for off-season conditioning. All three were present and accounted for today.