It’s not often that a punt returner gets flagged and fined for facemasking, but that’s what happened to Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson.
Against the Raiders on Sunday, Jackson ended a 32-yard punt return by stiff-arming Raiders punter Marquette King along the sideline, then grabbing King’s facemask and holding onto it as King pushed Jackson out of bounds. It was a clear penalty.
And that means it’s a clear fine: The NFL has fined Jackson $7,875 for the infraction. That’s the standard fine for facemasking.
Despite the penalty, Jackson showed against the Raiders that he has great talent for returning punts. The Raiders game was the first game this season in which he was the primary punt returner, and his 32-yard return was the longest punt return the Eagles have had this season, topping any returns that Damaris Johnson has had as the Eagles’ punt returner all season. Jackson should probably be the Eagles’ full-time punt returner. Even if he should also learn to aim his stiff-arms a little lower.