ASHBURN — Since DeSean Jackson has returned to the field, the Washington Redskins’ wide receiver has slowly become more involved in the offense.
In last week’s 44-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers — Jackson’s third game back after tearing his left hamstring in the season opener — he had his best performance yet.
Jackson hauled in five catches for 87 yards, highlighted by a 56-yard touchdown pass on Washington’s second drive of the game.
When the Redskins face the New York Giants on Sunday, the challenge will be to find a way to keep Jackson involved the entire game. Against Carolina, he had just two catches for 22 yards in the second half.
In the Redskins’ 47-14 win against the New Orleans Saints, Jackson hauled in a 42-yard pass on the third play of the game. He caught another pass for a two-yard gain in the second quarter, but that was it.
“I think his legs are fine,” Gruden said. “It’s just a matter of whatever play we called, maybe the coverage dictates us going somewhere else. They might have cover-two — a safety over the top of him. Carolina was playing a lot of the read cover-two last week, where it’s hard to get him the ball down the sideline or to the post. So, it might be some underneath-type throws and we have other guys that are in those spots.
“We have to make sure we try to keep him in the game for four quarters and try to get him some more looks, him and Pierre [Garçon] both,” Gruden said. “When you’re trying to spread it out with the running game and trying to get Jordan Reed involved and Jamison [Crowder] and all that stuff, I think everybody’s just got to do what they’re supposed to do on each individual play and let Kirk [Cousins] make the decision where the ball goes. Hopefully, we’ll get DeSean involved for four quarters.”