While Eagles fans await the decision on who will be the team’s starting quarterback for the first game of the 2018 regular season, there is new information on the status of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, Jeffery is expected to miss at least the first two games of the season. However, the Eagles will activate the wideout to the 53-man roster this weekend and hope that he will be on the field by Week 3.
This is significant news on the Jeffery injury front because the last thing we about the veteran wideout is that he could start the season on the PUP list. If that was the case, then Jeffery would miss the first six games of the regular season and would not be eligible to return until Week 7.
However, it looks like he will not have to go that route, which is great news for all parties involved. Jeffery is still rehabbing from torn rotator cuff surgery, which he had after the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots.
The veteran wide receiver actually suffered the injury during last year’s training camp and played through it. The 28-year-old Jeffery had a bounce-back 2017 season with 57 receptions (120 targets) for 789 yards and nine touchdowns.
A couple of weeks ago, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson gave an update on where Jeffery was at in his rehab process.
“He’s doing a great job with his rehab. He is in I would say more the strength phase with the weights and that part,” said Pederson. “He’s still doing his lower body conditioning with running and doing some things that way with his legs, making sure his cardiovascular is good.”
Matter of fact, Pederson was just asked about Jeffery on Tuesday as the team prepares for their final preseason contest against the New York Jets.
“Well, first of all, he’s doing well in this rehab. He’s working every day. He’s progressed up to about 75 throws a day and really doing a nice job with that,” said Pederson. “We’re just going to continue to monitor him and we’ll see where he is at next week and make a decision.”
“But right now, he’s progressing well; we just got to see his day by day.”
It should be interesting to see what Pederson says next week with this latest reported information out on Jeffery. If he is out until Sept. 23, which would be Week 3, expect to see other players step up in his absence.
For example, you might see the Eagles use two-tight end sets more often featuring Zach Ertz and rookie Dallas Goedert. Another option would be using either second-year wide receivers Mack Hollins or Shelton Gibson on the outside, opposite of Mike Wallace.
In the Eagles’ first preseason game, Hollins got time with the first-time offense, while Gibson has been the surprise breakout player this summer. The Eagles’ coaching staff cannot go wrong with either player as they both bring different things to the table.
Finally, in addition to those other players, whomever the Eagles’ starting quarterback is, they will also be leaning heavily on both Wallace and Nelson Agholor.