Eagles Could Fill Open Roster Spot with Controversial WR

Antonio Brown

Getty Antonio Brown

The Eagles have an open roster spot after waiving Jordan Matthews. Will they look to fill it in-house or bring in a marquee name?

With Matthews now out of the picture, the Eagles will likely fill out their roster by activating injured cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc. The standout star who intercepted Drew Brees in last year’s playoff game had been targeted to return right around Thanksgiving. Obviously, that date is on the horizon.

LeBlanc has been teasing fans by posting pictures of himself holding a football. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him pulled off injured reserve and out at practice this week. In fact, the roster move is almost expected at this point.

Of course, there are a few other possibilities to fill the spot. The Eagles could instead activate injured tackle Jordan Mailata as the team now has question marks on the offensive line. Head coach Doug Pederson didn’t rule it out during his press availability on Monday. While right tackle Lane Johnson (concussion) is expected back at practice on Wednesday, there is suddenly a lack of depth at tackle.

Rookie Andre Dillard was benched in favor of Halapoulivaati Vaitai after he struggled to transition over at right tackle. Matt Pryor took over Brandon Brooks’ normal position at right guard when he left due to anxiety issues. Mailata would provide a big body — listed at 6-foot-8 and 346 pounds — to bolster the guys upfront. It’s just something else to consider.

Would the Eagles Bring in Antonio Brown?

Yes, of course. There is one other outside-the-box option lurking on the waiver wire. Antonio Brown is only a “few weeks away” from returning to the NFL, according to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer. There are rumors of a possible Patriots reunion for Brown, but he has several hurdles to clear before being welcomed back.

The league has wrapped up their investigation about Brown’s alleged sexual assault on a former trainer and there is a “sparked optimism” that the receiver will be cleared of any wrong-doing. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported the Seahawks have flirted with signing him.

But why not the Eagles? There might be no team in worse shape at receiver than Philadelphia, a deficiency on full display Sunday against Seattle. Head coach Doug Pederson didn’t sound convinced that starters Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor would be available this week saying only “they’re trending in the right direction.”

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Saw 54 Snaps versus Seattle

Analyzing the Eagles snap counts has been a meticulous practice rooted in insanity. Jordan Matthews led all receivers Sunday with 73 snaps, then the team waived him. Meanwhile, rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside enjoyed a career-high 54 snaps.

Does it mean anything? It’s hard to say, but the Stanford product was forced into action with injuries everywhere. Overall, Arcega-Whiteside played pretty well.

He did drop a 4th-and-2 at the end of the game that may or may not have been his fault. It appeared he was in the wrong spot, but further film review revealed the receiver jumped away from the direction of Carson Wentz’s pass.

“I thought he did some good things. He’s still learning, obviously,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “He has to do a little better at the line of scrimmage with guys on his nose and being able to release and things like that. The fourth-down play, it was just he and Carson not being on the same page there, but those are things they will continue to work on.”

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