Eagles Activate Stud TE, Waive Explosive ‘Human Cheat Code’

Hakeem Butler

Getty The Cardinals drafted Hakeem Butler in the fourth round out of Iowa State in 2019.

The Eagles are getting healthier on offense, most notably at two explosive skill positions: tight end and wide receiver. Philadelphia activated injured stars Dallas Goedert and Jalen Reagor to the 53-man roster on Saturday and the feeling is both guys will suit up in Week 8. Goedert had been rehabbing from a fractured tibia and high-ankle sprain, while Reagor was battling back from thumb surgery.

Goedert met with reporters, via a Zoom call, on Wednesday to update his status for Sunday and declared he would only come back if he was feeling 100% healthy. The Eagles probably wouldn’t waste a roster spot if that wasn’t the case. Consider him locked and loaded.

“I’ve been in the meetings, just making sure I got the gameplan down, the ins and outs of everything,” Goedert said. “Not getting the reps in practice, making sure I get ready for whatever happens on Sunday whether I’m playing or not. So that’s the main thing, just making sure I know what Carson’s thinking, the different looks we’re going to see, making sure we’re on the same page so if I do happen to play that weekend, I can go out there and do some good things.”

Reagor expressed a similar sentiment, adding that he feels even stronger after surviving adversity. Remember, the rookie has overcome two serious injuries since training camp (thumb and shoulder).

“It’s just a little bit of adversity. Just a test. And I feel like I passed them,” Reagor told reporters. “I’m not going to let them get me down or get me in a funk. It’s all about how you respond. It’s all about being resilient.”

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Eagles Waive ‘Human Cheat Code’ Hakeem Butler

When the Eagles signed Hakeem Butler back on Sept. 29, the plan was to convert the explosive wide receiver to tight end. His college highlight-reel tape was drool-worthy, with some analysts referring to Butler as a “human cheat code” out of a video game. He finished with 110 receptions for 2,149 yards and 18 touchdowns at Iowa State while running the 40 in 4.49 seconds.

It hasn’t been an easy transition for Butler at the next level, though. The 6-foot-5, 227-pounder was used on one offensive snap — a 4th-and-goal versus New York that fell incomplete — and has seen 29 other snaps on special teams. The Eagles ended the experiment on Saturday by waiving Butler, although there is a good chance he could end up back on the practice squad.

“It didn’t take much convincing because the Eagles are such a storied franchise,” Butler said of switching from receiver to tight end. “I’m ready to play. I’ll do whatever is asked of me really.”

Michael Jacquet, Raequan Williams Elevated

Meanwhile, the Eagles elevated cornerback Michael Jacquet and defensive tackle Raequan Williams to the active roster for Sunday. Williams brought tempered expectations into training camp after a stellar career for the “soft-spoken monster” at Michigan State.

The undrafted rookie free agent racked up 160 tackles (29 for loss) and 11.5 sacks in 50 college games. Williams could see snaps this week since Hassan Ridgeway (biceps) is out for the year and Malik Jackson (quadriceps) is slowly getting up to speed. Jacquet, of course, was the surprise darling of camp whose name came out of Doug Pederson’s mouth unprompted when asked to evaluate the young players.

“Jacquet as a corner has done some really, really nice things for us,” Pederson said on Aug. 20.

He worked primarily at cornerback and it’s another position of need right now since Cre’Von LeBlanc (quadriceps) and Craig James (hamstring) are both out this week. The Eagles are also just getting starter Avonte Maddox back. The Eagles only have three veteran cornerbacks — Maddox, Darius Slay, Nickell Robey-Coleman — active for Sunday.

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