Jerome McDougle Is Fighting for His Career

James SenbetaCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2008

As the Eagles play their last preseason game, against the Jets, Jerome McDougle will see significant time, as he battles for a roster spot during his great preseason. The 29-year-old, former first-round draft pick is one of seven defensive ends fighting for six roster spots, with Trent Cole and Juqua Parker the only ones guaranteed.

McDougle was drafted 15th overall when Philadelphia traded up from the 30th pick to select the Second-Team All-American in 2003. Since his signing, Jerome has been plagued by injuries throughout his career.

In the 2003 season, McDougle missed half the regular season with various leg injuries. The next year, he missed a game due to an irregular heartbeat and another four for a sprained knee.

On July 25, 2005 Jerome was shot in the abdomen during an attempted car jacking and robbery while exiting his Mercedes-Benz coupe in Miami. He was expected to recover from emergency operation in time for the regular season, but he later had surgery for an internal hernia related to healing from the incident, missing the year.

McDougle managed to play most of the games in the 2006 season for Philadelphia, remembered for his kicking of the penalty flag in protest of the intentional facemask call against him.

The combination of the questionable intent of the facemask penalty, along with the additional 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 yards down the field following a nine-yard sack.

The situation allowed Bucs kicker Matt Bryant to hit a 62-yard field goal, beating the Eagles as the game clock hit zero.

In 2007, Jerome McDougle required surgery after injuring his right triceps in the preseason, missing the entire season.