PHILADELPHIA — Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, offensive tackle Jason Peters and linebacker Nigel Bradham headline a large group of Eagles players who have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys in Dallas.
The Eagles are, however, getting one notable piece of their secondary back in corner Jalen Mills.
This will be the fifth straight game that Jackson has missed since suffering a Grade 2 abdominal strain against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2. He appeared on the practice field Friday, working off to the side with the head trainer.
“With this injury, it’s tricky. He wants to be 100%, we want him to be 100%, so I’m not going to push him, I am not going to rush him,” coach Doug Pederson said. “I want him to feel and be the DeSean that we know he’s capable of being before we put him back out there.”
Peters exited last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings with what Pederson described as an “extensive” knee injury. Rookie first-round pick Andre Dillard will make his first start Sunday and will be charged with stopping edge rusher Robert Quinn, who has five sacks on the season.
The absence of Bradham means the Eagles will be down two starting linebackers after they released Zach Brown earlier in the week.
Mills, meanwhile, will play in his first game in nearly a year. He suffered a foot injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars last October and has had a slow climb back. Despite the long layoff, Mills expects to start against Dallas.
The secondary needs all the help it can get. Philadelphia ranks 29th in passing yards per game allowed (280) and is coming off a loss to Minnesota in which it yielded 333 yards and four touchdown passes to Kirk Cousins.
Mills and Ronald Darby are set to be the starters, Pederson said. Darby (hamstring) was limited at practice this week and is listed as questionable.