Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery Takes Big Step Towards Injury Return [WATCH]

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery

Reinforcements are on the way for Carson Wentz and the Eagles. Alshon Jeffery is back.

The team’s leading wide receiver from 2019 was back on the practice field on Thursday for the first time this year. Jeffery was out there in shorts and shells, running routes and catching balls from Wentz in individual drills. The 30-year-old looked nimble and his injured foot showed sign of regression following Lisfranc surgery.

With Jalen Reagor possibly heading to IR, it was exactly what the Eagles needed. Jeffery was fourth on the Eagles in receiving yards (490) and receptions (43) and led all wide receivers on the roster in both categories. It also explains why Philly hadn’t yet called up a receiver from the practice squad. Maybe the Eagles believe Jeffery will be able to start in Week 3 against the Bengals.

He could slide right in as the starting X receiver, ahead of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, with DeSean Jackson manning the Z spot on the outside. Greg Ward is the starter in the slot. The Eagles were down to just four wideouts after Reagor went down: Arcega-Whiteside, Jackson, Ward, and rookie John Hightower.

This was the exact scenario the Eagles were envisioning when they decided to keep Jeffery off IR coming out of training camp. They had him on the PUP list at the start of camp and then moved him to the active roster at the end. Any player on that list must sit out for at least six weeks. He wouldn’t have been eligible to return until Week 7, or for the Giants game on Oct. 22. Their patience appears to be paying off.

“The decision to activate Alshon is because we feel like if you kept him on PUP, that would mean basically he wouldn’t be ready till the seventh game,” Eagles GM Howie Roseman told reporters on Sept. 5. “We think he’s going to be ready before that. He thinks he’s going to be ready before that, and we think he’s a good player.”

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Eagles Not Actively Shopping Jeffery in Trade

There had been several reports that the Eagles were actively shopping Jeffery, but Roseman quickly shot down those rumors. He praised Jeffery for being in “great shape” and loved the “incredible energy” he has been bringing to the building every day. Several of his rookie teammates have commented on Jeffery’s role as a mentor, plus Carson Wentz credited his mindset for 2020.

“I’ve talked with Alshon. Alshon’s doing well,” Wentz said on May 5, via NBC10’s John Clark. “Hoping he can be himself and just keep on rehabbing. But I’m confident that he will. And he’s doing well. He’s in a good place and I feel confident in his ability to be back out there helping the team.”

Head coach Doug Pederson didn’t want to put Jeffery on the field until he was “100% or 105%” ready to go. It appears he’s close to those percentage points.

“I want to make sure he’s obviously 100% or 105%, if that’s such a thing, before we put him out there,” Pederson told reporters on Sept. 1. “He’s working extremely hard. He wants to be out there.”

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