A day after Nelson Agholor turned in his most damaging performance of the season, the Eagles signed wide receiver Paul Turner to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.
The team released Aaron Grymes to make room for Turner.
Turner had a standout preseason and won over both fans and media types, and now, with the Eagles’ receiving corps struggling, Turner will have a chance to get practice reps with the team’s active roster.
“We gave [Turner] some work last week in practice,” Doug Pederson said Monday, “and just feel like this is a good opportunity now, not only for him but for us, to see where he’s at, see what he can do, and give him an opportunity. We’ll give him some work this week and see whether or not he’ll be up for the game.”
Pederson was asked if this move was a reaction to the way Agholor played on Sunday against Seattle. Agholor cost the team a 57-yard touchdown because of an illegal formation penalty, and also dropped a pass with no defense around him that would have been at least a 20-yard gain.
He wouldn’t say whether this roster move was directly correlated with Agholor’s struggles, but Pederson did discuss at length the second-year wideout’s problems.
“I will definitely have a conversation with Nelson, and I’ll address that as we get later in the week. But those are definitely concerns that I have, now that obviously he’s come out and said that [he’s letting things get to him] publicly,” Pederson said. “My concern is for him as an individual. As a person. I want to make sure he’s in a good spot. Listen, put football aside. We all know about that. I want to make sure him, as a person, he’s doing good. We’ll have that conversation during the week.”
Pederson said he couldn’t recall ever dealing with a scenario like this as a coach before, where a player seems to simply lose confidence, and their game suffers because of it.
He said sometimes, players just need to step back and get perspective in order to get back on track.
“Sometimes that can help clear your head,” Pederson said. “I remember as a quarterback back in 1999, when Andy [Reid] pulled me out and put Donovan [McNabb] in, it was a step back to possibly go forward, and to see it differently. In that way, too, you can begin to clear your head and see it where you don’t have the pressure of performing on you all the time.”
Pederson said he would wait until after talking with Agholor himself to decide whether the wide receiver needs a week off, or anything like that. He said, as of now, Agholor will still be included in wide receiver drills during the week, and Turner will be worked into the mix as well.
But, at least in this writer’s eyes, by the way Pederson was publicly discussing things, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if, after he has a conversation with Agholor, the two decide Agholor needs a week off.
“I think sometimes as athletes you put so much pressure on yourself to perform,” Pederson said, “and then when it doesn’t maybe quite work out in your favor, and then outside influences, i.e. the media, and fans, put more pressure on you to perform, and you’re a top pick and you need to perform, all that pressure on a player? It’s not good. And so in Nelson’s case, sometimes it’s, like I mentioned, sometimes you need to take a step back, see it differently, view it differently.
“I’ve seen things that are out of character, and that’s a sign that things are maybe not going well for him. As athletes, you’ve got to sort of let the game come to you, and I feel like he’s pressing just a little bit. Listen, he’s doing everything right. He’s working hard, he’s getting work in after practice, doing everything right. We’re just going to continue to work.”