Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson made no apologies for missing the first week of voluntary offseason practices, and now, with two sessions under his belt, said on Wednesday that he is happy to have reunited with his teammates and looks forward to laying the foundation for an improved season, Mike Jones of the Washington Post reports.
Jackson, who last season led Washington with 1,169 receiving yards and six touchdown catches, missed last week’s three voluntary practice sessions to tend to personal matters, he said. He was the lone healthy starter not in attendance, but notified coaches of his plans. The wide receiver re-joined his teammates on Tuesday, and on Wednesday took part in his second consecutive practice.
Jackson’s absence sparked criticism amongst the team’s fan base and the media, particularly after he posted a picture of himself sitting courtside at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference-clinching victory of the Atlanta Hawks on May 26 – a night where Jackson would’ve been in the D.C. area had he attended the first offseason practice, or planned to attend the following day’s session. Jackson didn’t go into detail on what other matters kept him away from Redskins Park last week, but he did mention his reality TV show on BET, and that he is preparing for the birth of a child.
On Wednesday, Jackson defended his decision to miss the first week of practice, and disagreed with the notion that he had caused any damage to his team.
“I had personal things I had to do back home,” he said. “I’m a veteran in this league, going on my eighth year. Communication with my head coach and the guys here, they knew about it. Like I said, I had things I had to do, I was obligated to do back home in California. I’m here now, and I’m happy to be here with my teammates, and they’ve been putting in some great work, so I’m just trying to catch up and get back in the swing of things. But I had things I had to handle.”