Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, in his first public comments since suffering a concussion last Sunday against the Washington Redskins, says it is extremely unlikely he will play this Sunday in Atlanta against the Falcons.
"I don't think I can go," Jackson said. "I blacked out."
That is the first time anyone said that Jackson lost consciousness after the hit by Redskins linebacker London Fletcher in the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
An Eagles senior official confirmed on Tuesday night that Jackson did in fact lose consciousness on the field on Sunday, and strongly suggested that the Eagles will be without their most explosive receiver in Atlanta.
With the new emphasis on protecting players who have been concussed, Jackson's case begs for caution. Under the NFL's new mandates issued Nov. 24, the Eagles are working with a local neurosurgeon, who must provide an independent second opinion in cases involving players who have had a concussion and been removed from a game or practice.
Jackson has been examined by that doctor, and will undergo exercise tests this week to see if he develops any headaches as a result.
The Eagles' doctors cleared running back Brian Westbrook to play against San Diego on Nov. 15 -- just three weeks after he suffered a concussion against the Redskins on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 26 -- and he left the Chargers game with a second concussion. He is in the middle of a three-week neurological evaluation before he returns to the field.
The experience with Westbrook, 30, has made the team doubly cautious with Jackson, who leads the team with 769 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Jackson is only 23 years old and should be the centerpiece of the Eagles' offense for the next decade.
Sal Paolantonio covers the NFL for ESPN.