ASHBURN — As another week of practice rolls around at Redskins Park, so will the questions about DeSean Jackson’s availability for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Washington Redskins’ wide receiver is yet to play since tearing his left hamstring in the season opener against Miami on Sept. 13.
Jackson was initially expected to be out three to four weeks. This Sunday will mark six weeks since the injury. Last Wednesday, as the team prepared to face the New York Jets, coach Jay Gruden said, “I feel like [Jackson] is very, very close. If it’s not this Sunday, then it’d definitely be next weekend.”
However, Jackson’s availability for Sunday’s game is once again uncertain after he had a “setback” in last Thursday’s practice.
On Monday, Gruden said they will have to see how Jackson responds in practice this week before they make a decision. Jackson returned to practice two weeks ago, but has been limited.
“We’re going to evaluate him this week,” Gruden said. “He’s got a couple good days of rehab here. Wednesday we’ll see where he is at. Hopefully it’s coming along. But it’s not a definite, no.”
Last week, Gruden said there is no benefit from having Jackson play unless he is 100 percent. Where Jackson relies so heavily on his speed, the Redskins do not want to risk a bigger setback.
“The problem is you put him out there at 80 percent and then he tries to go 100 and then he’s going to be back down to 30 percent just like that,” Gruden said. “These hamstrings are delicate. There’s a lot of guys out in the NFL going through the same thing. You have to get that thing back to 100 percent before you go, otherwise it’ll get worse.”
Jackson was listed as questionable for the Jets game last Friday, but was downgraded to out on Saturday and did not travel with the team. However, he made the trip to New York on his own to visit family and work with team trainers before the game.