When Brandon Graham told reporters he could see “some light at the end of the tunnel,” he wasn’t kidding. The Philadelphia Eagles are hoping veteran receiver DeSean Jackson can provide a glimmer of hope to wrap up this incredibly disappointing year.
The team activated their 34-year-old speed threat to the 21-day practice window on Monday, one week after a report indicated Jackson was nearing a return. He was spotted out on the practice field running routes so the move isn’t a total shock. However, the Eagles playoff chances remain fairly slim, and giving an aging receiver snaps over younger guys like Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor and John Hightower may not be the smartest decision.
There is a bit of a disturbing track record, though. Head coach Doug Pederson has been determined to make Alshon Jeffery a bigger part of the offense in recent weeks while Travis Fulgham has fallen out of the gameplan. It also appears he has given up on former second-round pick J.J. Arvega-Whiteside who was inactive in Week 15 and hasn’t seen a target since Oct. 22.
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‘Sky’s the Limit’ for Eagles Young Receivers
Jackson’s return goes against what Pederson told reporters on Monday when he hyped up his young pass-catchers. He talked at length about the chemistry they were building with rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts.
“I like the group. I like their athleticism, I like their enthusiasm,” Pederson said. “I like their work ethic during the week. The sky’s the limit. You talk about the quarterback, the sky’s the limit with these guys, I think. The more they play and the better they get, I think they can really become a solid group, and they’re slowly working that direction.”
The head coach specifically mentioned Reagor and Jeffery getting on the same page with Hurts, complimenting both players for raising their games. Jeffery made two catches for 63 yards (three targets) on Sunday while Reagor finished with five receptions for 49 yards (eight targets).
“Personally I think that because these young guys are playing so much now and you see Jalen Reagor having missed time during the season and now he’s in the mix,” Pederson said. “Alshon is healthy, I just think it’s that time of year where guys just begin to — it’s almost like the lightbulb goes off.”
Casey Tucker Added to Practice Squad
The NFL transactions wire revealed last week that Casey Tucker had visited the Eagles. Now the 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive tackle is back after they signed him to the practice squad. The former undrafted player originally tried out for Eagles rookie camp in 2019 but didn’t make final roster cuts.
This marks his third stint in Philadelphia after spending parts of last year on the Detroit Lions practice squad. Tucker split his college career at Arizona State and Stanford and blocked for Christian McCaffrey. He is considered a versatile, athletic body up front who can play left tackle, left guard, and right tackle.
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