Dave Fipp Says Injured DeSean Jackson Asked to Return Punt Because He Wanted to Make a Play

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

DeSean Jackson was injured on a late hit while returning a punt on Thursday night, but the real question is this –

Should he have been fielding the punt in the first place?

It was his first game back from injury, and as such, you’d think it might make sense to play it safe with him, use him as necessary on offense, and not put him at risk on a special teams play. Coordinator Dave Fipp was asked about that sequence on Tuesday and explained that it was actually Jackson’s idea to volunteer for the return:

Q: Coming into the Giants game with WR DeSean Jackson, was that the plan if there was a crucial situation to put him back there in certain circumstances and what was your reaction to the play where he got hurt? (Dave Zangaro)

COACH FIPP: We’ve had conversations in the past about him going back there. In that particular game, I mean I would give just really most of the credit to the individual. I got a lot of respect for DeSean. During that last drive he had come up to me and said, ‘Hey man, if they are punting this ball backed up or if they are punting this ball, put me back there, I want to go back there and make a play.’ Just a really unselfish football player trying to do anything he could to help the organization win a football game. He knew it was a spot where really the team needed him. He wanted a chance to step up and make a play for the team. So obviously he jumped back in there to take that kick and obviously it’s unfortunate what happened. We all know that injuries are part of the game but you never like seeing them, not to any player, but certainly not to great players like him. Especially guys who work so hard to get back into the thing. So obviously, that’s tough to watch or see. In terms of the hit and all that, I think some people are talking about that. Obviously, I’m going to stay away from that myself personally but yeah, disappointed in the injury there for sure.

It’s great to see DeSean volunteering to go back there to make a play and help his team, put his body on the line and all of that. But that’s where the coaches need to step in and say, “l appreciate that DeSean, but we need to keep you healthy, we can’t risk putting you back there right now.” That’s the easiest way to look at it, in hindsight, and of course people are going to have different approaches to that type of situation. The Eagles were up against it, and needed to pull of a fourth quarter comeback. Some fans would agree that you put your most dangerous guy back there, and others would prefer to play it safe.

At the end of the day, it was a dirty hit that did him in anyway, so it’s a bummer all around.

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