DeSean Jackson says, "I don't think I can go"

How quickly has the perception regarding concussions changed among those who follow the NFL?  Already, there’s a presumption upon learning that a player suffered a concussion that he’ll be on the sidelines for at least a week.

It was the first thought that came to my mind upon learning that Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson suffered a concussion on Sunday against the Redskins — primarily since Jackson is on my fantasy team in my family league, where if I win the response is “he should win since he follows football for a living” and if I lose the response is “man, you must really suck at following football for a living.”

So, as expected, Jackson likely won’t be playing against the Falcons.

But there’s a twist.  Instead of the Eagles shutting Jackson down, he seems to be shutting himself down.

“I don’t think I can go,” Jackson said Tuesday, per Sal Paolantonio of ESPN.  “I blacked out.”

As Paolantonio points out, Jackson’s comments are the first evidence that Jackson was knocked unconscious when the 5’10”, 245-pound London Fletcher blasted the 5’10”, 175-pound Jackson after Jackson made a third-quarter catch.

The video suggests otherwise.  Unlike running back Brian Westbrook, who clearly was knocked out the last time the Eagles played the Redskins, Jackson never stopped moving.  It doesn’t mean he didn’t suffer short-term amnesia, but it appears that he never lost consciousness.
Moreover, Jackson’s candor strikes us as unusual, especially in the wake of the controversy caused by Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who made it clear that many players continue to wear their willingness to play with a concussion as a badge of honor — and that they regard those who won’t as wearing a suit of yellow feathers.

Maybe Jackson’s implicit message is that he’s not going to do whatever it takes to play until he gets paid.  Really, is it a coincidence that his comments came on the same day that tight end Brent Celek signed a $30 million contract with $11 million in guaranteed money?  Unless and until Jackson gets similar financial security, why take any unnecessary risks?

We know that’s a cynical take.  But we also think that the agents of players who don’t like their contracts might be realizing that this new sensitivity to concussions has given them a way to take a stand without risking any consequence.

47 responses to “DeSean Jackson says, "I don't think I can go"

  1. It might be a cynical take, but it’s a shrewd one. Congrats, Florio, you might be right for a change.
    You should be more often since you follow football for a living.

  2. Damn. Sigh.
    Blackouts don’t mean unconscious. You haven’t partied enough if you think they’re the one and the same.

  3. OR it could be that he saw first hand what happens when a player comes back too early (Brian Westbrook), and he doesn’t want to risk missing possibly the remainder of the regular season with a follow-up brain bruise.

  4. Desean is in year 2 of his rookie deal – isn’t he ineligible for an extension until next season? I hardly think jealousy over Celek’s deal has anything to do with it.

  5. Are you really that dense, Mike? Jackson isnt even eligible for a contract yet. Its ashame that people who dont follow football for a living knows more then somebody that tries to.

  6. It isn’t cynical, it’s life. Why risk your entire career when your current contract doesn’t take care of you for life? If the dude already had tens of millions I might be less sympathetic but he deserves to get paid and deserves the same rights to health as anyone else.

  7. I think this is all due to Westbrook.
    Brian probably called him and said if you feel (x) then you shouldn’t play.
    He probably does feel that way so he thinks he shouldn’t play.
    Jackson seems to be thriving in this system so not only do I hope he does what he needs to do to stay healthy but that they do compensate him appropriately when it is time.

  8. You’re amazing Florio. You called for Westbrook to end his career and retire because of his concussion. Now because your pathetic fantasy football team is in question you want the guy to risk getting knocked out for the year for Team Fruitcake Florio. Talking out of both sides of your mouth again?

  9. Florio has always gotta take it one step too far….
    Florio – if he took the field – wouldn’t that kind of increase his chances of getting a better deal? Don’t you think Rosenhaus would be using this little chip at the table “remember when DeSean had the concussion and he still took the field, the guy is a company man!!”
    C’mon Florio, I know you hate the Eagles, but this one is beyond even you.
    Does everyone remember when Rosenthal posted that story about Osi possibly being unhappy with not getting a new contract, then Florio came in 10 minutes later with a “nothing to see here” retraction.

  10. When I was young I pitched myself off of a bicycle and smacked my head on the street. By all accounts, I never lost consciousness. But all I know is that I woke up, at home with my Grandmother swabbing my head. I was knocked out, and I lost about 1/2 hour. Just because I was apparently functioning means nothing. I had a bad concussion and was sick for weeks. He knows what happened when he was “walking around”

  11. I normally sneer at Florio when he writes about the Eagles because his disdain for them is so clear but this time he might be onto something. He cant do a deal until next year but he did hire Drew Rosenhause earleir this season.

  12. # Buttered Izel Jenkins says: December 2, 2009 8:53 AM
    Jesus Christ, Florio, you even wrote the article.”
    Seems a lot more likely that he’s being properly cautious given the recent focus on concussions and guys like Westbrook, Portis and Ben R (3 of the toughest guys in the league) missing extensive time.
    I’m also a bit surprised you’re at times seemingly behind guys like Ward calling others out for being wimpy etc. Dunno if you meant it to be perceived that way but it sure was from my angle. You usually come down on the side of safety and the NFL “doing the right thing” by it’s players.

  13. Thats one of the dumbest things Ive heard come out of your mouth. First off he cant get paid yet hes only in year 2 of his rookie contract and second off he needs to show hes tough to NFL teams if he wants to get elite wide reciever money. That was one of the man reasons he wasnt drafted in the first round by 32 teams. They were concerned about his lack of size that he might be not able to with stand playing against NFL players. Also the other major concern of teams about him coming out of college is that he was a diva and would cause problems in the locker room. So you must really think Rosenhaus and Jackson are idiots if you think thats why he might not play this week because that would make everything they said about him true coming out of college and would deffently hurt his chance of being paid top end dollar.

  14. Florio, your the one with amnesia. You wrote an article explicitly saying that Desean cannot get an extension till he has 2 years under his belt.

  15. so now people are only sitting out from concussions because they haven’t been paid yet? Gimme a break florio. It’s beyond cynical.

  16. This new awareness of the concussion issue is good. It will directly lead to players striving very hard to not get concussions.

  17. So Big Ben should have player, Westbrook should retire, Desean should play…. guess we can just follow florio’s “reporting” and get a pretty good sense of who’s on his fantasy team….

  18. DildoBaggins- The best is when they wont post your comment to a story because it points out just how off the mark he is. Sucks that this place has turned into what it is today, it used to be a good place to come and get a good scoop. Now its just a place for Florio to try and stir the pot even if it makes 0 sense. The worst of it all is that people buy into what he says.

  19. You’re just mad that the Birdz took the one thing that anyone was giving your lowly Redskins(which honors injines, right!?! not this year or any year for that matter.) credit for, which was their heart. The Birds ripped it out while it was still beating and beat that fake-ass Donavan Mcnabb of a QB that they trot out onto the field, into a concussion. What do you think about his concussion? Not that anyone who knows football would have took him on their fanasty team or anything like that…. Right, Rufio? If this post get posted, I just want to point out how Rasict the Redskin’s name is. Honoring the Injines my ass.

  20. How bout we go with Florio’s recommendation on the offseason to trade Mcnabb for Boldin and a 2nd rd. pick. You’re a special, special guy. Rufio

  21. Proof that he is nowhere being an elite receiver, it will be awhile before he runs across the middle anytime soon. He’ll be hearing footsteps along the way.
    Deep threat is all he is, middle is reserved for the good receivers. No wonder the Eagles are horrible on 3rd and short.

  22. you all are so friggin nieve if you do not think Jackson wants a new contract, whether he is eligible or not.
    Why else would he go out and get Drew Rosenhaus as his agent if he wasn’t looking to strike it rich?
    Oh I get it, it’s because Drew is such a nice guy….
    Regardless of that fact, who cares what Hines Ward thinks or anyone else for that matter….if you get a head injury, you don’t take any chances. My memory of my kids and their kids is more important then this Sundays game.

  23. since Ben and Kurt both said they were playing– shouldn’t we draw the conclusion that
    D- Jax is fine and will play !

  24. Cornflorio: douche! Cynical isn’t what I’d call it, just plain dirt dumb.
    Folks, Florio isn’t a journalist, he’s a blogger. Plain and simple, ask him. If he were a journalist, he’d have to be held to a certain professional standard.
    My question, that still hasn’t been answered, is where is that guy that used to break down the games? He’d give you an analysis of upcoming games from both teams on what they needed to do to win AND, after the game, he’d break down what they did to win the game………
    That was the best thing ever! If memory serves me, he was a former GM…..maybe of Denver?

  25. When I tore my achilles I blacked out for probably 2 seconds, I remember intense pain then me on the floor..I don’t remember falling so it could happen if only for a second or two.

  26. You could sign Jason Avant off your league’s bench, Florio.
    And guys, Florio is saying Jackson doesn’t want to play because he doesn’t want to come to the negotiation table this offseason with a season ending injury of 2 concussions.

  27. I would think Jackson is scared shatless, he’s a 21 year old kid who saw his teammate probably end his career a few years ago. If it were me, I would take it cautious.
    That being said, I picked up Maclin in fantasy this week, hoo rah.

  28. come on man, don’t stoop to this level… this concussion thing is serious… you can’t have it both ways congratulating players for sitting but then trying to stir up trouble when they do.
    desean is young, incredibly talented and has a tremendous career ahead of him. he just saw a eagles legend maybe end his career by taking 2 concussions in too short a time period, an event which galvanized the entire league into finally taking this issue seriously (that and the malcom gladwell article and congress threats). he’s doing the right thing. show some respect and don’t try and sling mud on this one, man.

  29. maybe becasue he got laid the fugg out and it mde him realize that he is not immortal , and that would like the ability to still be able to talk and walk when he is 40.

  30. Wow, this is a mess. All these comments are clearly being determined by the posters favorite team. Really none of them have merit.
    Do you think it’s strange that players are admitting to concussions during the season before the new CBA negotiations?
    @SgtSigma – Jackson is 23 years old.

  31. Even before reading that DeSean isn’t eligible yet for an extension, I didn’t think that would be the reason. Knowing his history and watching him at Cal, I believe he is a hard-working young man with more integrity than to pull something like that. Sounds to me like he’s actually protecting the Eagles’ investment.

  32. I don’t know why people are surprised when this site pumps this garbage out. Florio’s been doing this for years and he has no favorites. The more you comment on it the more it’s justified that he continue.
    I see bloggers going away in 5 years and a return to normal journalism. This is just further evidence that these guys have gotten out of control with their exclusive “scoops.”
    Check the story on the handling of Ben Roethlisberger’s concussion by the Steelers organization:
    The guy has no evidence, just a theory and a “source.” Something tells me that’s all these hacks need nowadays. It’s competitive in this field, first to get the scoop is the “winner.” Seems integrity, accountability and accuracy have taken a back seat.

  33. What the hell is wrong with you people?!
    Personally, I am glad to see players starting to take into consideration their future as a human being, after the NFL is finished. You brain-dead morons that post here.. along with Hines Ward, and the other “tough” NFL players, have had one to many concussions yourselves!!
    Regarding Hines Ward.. you are “tough.” But are you tough enough to live the life that Mike Webster and thousands of other ex-NFL player live??
    You mental giants here.. pfft!
    Props to Jackson and the others who are finally starting to realize that a “team” physicians don’t always consider the players best interest.

  34. “Props to Jackson and the others who are finally starting to realize that a “team” physicians don’t always consider the players best interest.”
    Brohamma – you are truly a “mental giant” yourself.

  35. Yea, typo… but there is not edit.
    Fact remains.. people pressing on players who have suffered concussions need some help themselves.

  36. Is it really that hard to understand Florio’s point? Its not about him wanting an extension now its that he’s not wanting to risk damaging his future payday by playing with a concussion and getting hurt worse.

  37. Exactly veistran!
    And I’ve noticed another typo yet again birdy.
    Deflect all you want, the fact of the matter is that what I typed initally is spot-on. If you disagree with it then YOU are truly a mental giant.
    Do you argue the point?

  38. A great WR is out this week because of an extreme helmet-to-helmet hit (which wasn’t penalized).
    Good thing we don’t play the Skins anymore this year.. Fletcher would take out the other 51 players + practice squad!

  39. Guys, take your heads out of your asses… Florio knows he can’t get a new deal until next year. What he’s saying (and it’s a good point) is that…..
    Jackson saw Westbrook up close and personal, come back too early from a concussion. The result… another concussion and serious talks that Westbrook may consider retiring. Jackson is in line for a big contract, he’s earned it. But if he rushes back from his head injury (one that has taken the NFL by storm this year like McCarthy’s “red-scare”) and ends up getting another one, he increases his chances of getting a 3rd, a 4th, a 5th and so on. Now, all of a sudden his new big money contract isn’t looking so sweet after all.

  40. Are you serious? If he had a concussion and wants to recover for a week it’s fine. He’s not doing this for a contract or because he’s soft. Maybe he actually understands that concussions are very dangerous in the future and wants to make sure he’s comfortable before he gets ready to play again

  41. Jesus wept Mike. You know what tires me out? You do your damn best to put the word out about concussions being harmful to players, but you know who does a better job than anyone of perpetuating the idea that a concussion isn’t a ‘real’ injury?
    Regardless of the implication in this article that Jackson is lying, the main problem is that you are questioning just how committed the guy is to doing his job – the very same thing that pontificate on when others do it. If Mike Sellers had come out and said what you have just posted, he’d be rightly ripped to shreds by you for having no medical qualifications, yet you believe it’s ok to use complete conjecture, purely because it is a concussion?
    It actually makes me angry. I can’t believe that you would be so reckless, so irresponsible. It is people like you that are making it difficult for players to be honest. I realise what locker-rooms are like, but I also realise that it is easier for players to believe that their stance on concussions being ‘an injury you can play through’ is easier to justify when you have a so called respectable media outlet publishing absolute garbage like this.
    Seriously, hang your head in shame Mike, this is up there with the ‘domestic violence against football players is not a real crime’ post.

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