Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has had a rough season.
It could get even rougher against the New York Jets on Sunday.
There's a good chance that he'll be shadowed by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is widely viewed as the top cover corner in the NFL.
"He's a tremendous corner, the best in the league," Jets coach Rex Ryan said in a phone interview earlier this week. "It's not even close. And the way we play him is unlike anything that's happened in the history of the league. A lot of times, we'll match him on the best (opposing) receiver and leave him there the entire game by himself."
Because of his speed and reputation, Jackson is considered the Eagles' best receiver, though the two-time Pro Bowler hasn't been playing anywhere close to his potential.
Jackson is tied with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin for second on the team with 47 receptions, two behind tight end Brent Celek. He also had 47 receptions all of last season. But the major difference has been a lack of big plays. His 757 receiving yards and three touchdowns are both well behind last season's totals of 1,056 yards and six TDs.
He's also courted his share of controversies. Jackson, who is seeking a new contract, was deactivated for the Eagles' 21-17 loss to Arizona for missing a team meeting, erased a 50-yard gain with a taunting penalty against the New York Giants, was benched for the fourth quarter against New England after short-arming two passes and dropping two others, then appeared to be ignoring his teammates against Seattle.
"I'm just coming to work, having fun, doing everything I need to do to stay out of the way," Jackson said earlier this week in quotes provided by the team. "Sometimes things don't work our way, but in reality you just want to go out there and put it on the line and get the best results at the end of the game."
Jackson is coming off one of his best games of the season. He caught four passes for 59 yards and scored on a 34-yard pass from quarterback Michael Vick at Miami. That was his first TD reception since he had a 31-yarder at Buffalo on Oct. 9.
Having a big game against the Jets, especially Revis, would help improve his stock. If he doesn't get a new deal by the end of the season, the Eagles have the option of placing the franchise tag on him or letting him become an unrestricted free agent.
"I think DeSean is confident and I think he's ready to go out there and play a big game," Vick said Friday in quotes provided by the team. "Obviously, if he goes out there and plays well it only helps him, or any player when you have success. So I'm looking forward to DeSean having a good game, as well as the rest of the guys."
EXTRA POINTS: Vick practiced for the second straight day Friday and will play against the Jets. He is still dealing with pain associated with the two broken ribs he suffered against Arizona that caused him to miss three games. Tackle Todd Herremans (sprained ankle), defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (strained groin) and Maclin (strained hamstring) also practiced Friday.
Defensive end Darryl Tapp (broken rib) sat out practice and is doubtful for the game. If can't play, defensive end Brandon Graham could replace him.
Contact David Weinberg:
Jets at Eagles
When: 4:15 p.m. Sunday
TV/radio: CBS, 94.1, 97.3 FM, 610 AM