The NFL trading deadline is less than two weeks away, so naturally, the winds are blowing at gale speed. The Eagles have been rumored to be buyers on Nov. 3 but they might have to sell-off a few pieces first to create extra salary-cap room. The two biggest names being mentioned in trade talks are both injured: Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery. Their values might be down for the foreseeable future, but the team still seems intent on moving them.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer started a bit of a ruckus on Thursday when he dropped a tiny nugget about Ertz and Jeffery in his weekly column. He mentioned the Eagles have gotten “a lot of calls” and said Philly “raised some eyebrows” by waiting an extra day to place Ertz on IR. The implication there was they had fielded a few offers on the three-time Pro Bowler. Jeffery? Well, Breer came right and said what everyone has been thinking: “Alshon Jeffery is very clearly available.”
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Ertz’s Timing Appears Off with Carson Wentz
In addition to Ertz’s injury status, the tight end has been enduring the worst statistical season since his rookie year. Ertz had just 24 catches for 178 yards before hitting IR earlier this week due to a high-ankle sprain. He could miss four to six weeks, per reports. He was on pace to finish the 2020 campaign with 474 receiving yards, a number that would be his second-lowest total since 2013 (469).
Ertz’s injury obviously has given the star tight end a hall pass, but he had been struggling even before he went down. Some have speculated it’s because of his stalled contract negotiations. Others see it as defenses clamping down. Or maybe it’s just a lack of chemistry with Carson Wentz.
“Carson and Zach, they have to continue to work,” head coach Doug Pederson said on Oct. 12. “I haven’t seen the ball travel as high towards Zach than it is right now, and those are things as we continue to work through during the week, those two guys will be on the same page. So it’s just a little bit of missed timing right now with those two. But I know it’s something that they will work at and work on each week to get it corrected.”
No Timetable for Jeffery’s Return
Pederson has never been one to give out timetables on players returning from injury. However, the Eagles purposefully kept Jeffery on the active roster instead of placing him on the PUP list to start the year. It’s been seven weeks and the one-time Pro Bowl receiver still hasn’t seen the field. He’s been practicing in a limited capacity, getting in some individual work during the week. The Eagles won’t put him out there until he’s 100% healthy.
“When you don’t put a guy like Alshon on PUP … we hopefully anticipated him coming back within the six weeks,” Pederson said on Oct. 16, “and it has taken a little bit longer, but again, you guys know that I want to make sure that he’s 100 percent. He’s just now getting back into practice, right? He’s done some individual work and now he’s into practice.”
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