The Eagles were holding out hope that Alshon Jeffery might play against the Lions. That’s not the case.
The injured wide receiver was seen wearing sneakers with his calf wrapped in a sleeve. There was some speculation he might play when he trotted out onto the field in uniform. But Jeffrey was on the team’s inactive list.
Meanwhile, tight end Dallas Goedert will play, as well as defensive end Daeshon Hall. Offensive linemen Matt Pryor, Nate Sudfeld and receiver Greg Ward will make their 2019 debuts. The Eagles have three quarterbacks active: Sudfeld, Carson Wentz, Josh McCown.
The Eagles also named the following players inactive: DeSean Jackson, Corey Clement, Shareef Miller, Nate Herbig, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Tim Jernigan.
With Jackson and Jeffery our, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins will handle the outside receiving duties, while Nelson Agholor remains in the slot. Greg Ward was called up from the practice squad on Saturday and he is active for his first NFL regular-season game, giving the Eagles four receivers.
What is DeSean Jackson’s Injury?
DeSean Jackson has been dealing with either an abdominal strain or a groin injury, depending on whom you talk to. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo hinted that Jackson might have incurred the dreaded sports hernia, a soft tissue injury that affects both the abdomen and groin area. Depending on the severity, a non-surgical sports hernia injury can take four to six weeks to rest and heal. The Eagles have refused to put a timetable on Jackson’s absence, but at least two weeks seems appropriate.
The Eagles are getting set to play two games in five days, so resting Jackson until Week 5 is the smart move. There is no need to try and rush him back. The speedy receiver is vital to Philly’s aerial attack and aggravating what could be a lingering injury would quickly derail their championship aspirations.
Bigger Roles for Mack Hollins & JJ Arcega-Whiteside
The Eagles are likely without starting wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery until Week 5. That’s a stretch that includes a home game against Detroit and an away game versus Green Bay. On Thursday, the team had five receivers on the practice field: Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward and Marcus Green.
Agholor, Hollins and Arcega-Whiteside were all working with the ones and will be counted on extensively Sunday. The trio combined to make 14 catches for 261 yards and a touchdown last week when forced into bigger workloads. However, they all showed signs of rust.
Hollins and Arcega-Whiteside both dropped easy touch passes and didn’t look comfortable in their route running. Ward and Green are on the practice squad, but the Eagles may be forced to elevate at least one of them to the active roster.
And Agholor — well, he dropped the potential game-winning touchdown. He had eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, but the drop was a tough pill to swallow. It bounced right off his fingertips.
“You gotta find a way to catch it all,” Agholor said. “Remember where it’s going to be and look it all the way in.”
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