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The Eagles could be awful if Jordan Matthews is limited Sunday

Brace yourselves.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

In the Eagles’ Monday Night Football loss to the Packers, Jordan Matthews left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. He returned for the first series of the third quarter, but didn’t return afterwards. The Eagles said all X-rays on his ankle came back negative, but as a preventative measure, Matthews didn’t participate in practice on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he was out in the bubble at the NovaCare Complex, trying to participate in practice with the team.

It didn’t look very good:

The Eagles are facing the Bengals on Sunday afternoon, a game in which they should be favored to win despite playing on the road. Cincinnati is not very good this season, they’re very bad at defending the run, and two of their three best offensive weapons are out with injuries.

But if Matthews can’t go on Sunday because his ankle is still bothering him (which it clearly is), or even if he’s available but limited by the injury? It could be an entirely different story.

Because when he left the game against the Packers on Monday, the Eagles’ passing game turned anemic.

In the (roughly) four drives the Birds ran without Matthews on the field on Monday, Carson Wentz went 14 of 24 for 135 yards, for a woeful 5.6 yards per attempt.

Here’s a breakdown, by quarter, of drives on which Matthews was out:

  • 2nd Quarter, after he left: 5 of 8, 30 yards (3.75 Y/A)
  • 3rd Quarter: 5 of 8, 40 yards (5.0 Y/A)
  • 4th Quarter: 4 of 8, 65 yards (8.1 Y/A)

It doesn’t help that, with Matthews out, the Eagles are trotting out...

  • Dorial Green Beckham, effectively still a rookie wide receiver
  • Bryce Treggs, a UDFA who joined the team during the season
  • Paul Turner, a UDFA with zero career catches

and maybe...

  • Nelson Agholor, a first-round pick who was benched in lieu of those three WRs above

So, yeah.

Eagles fans better hope Jordan Matthews’ ankle starts feeling much better, and very soon, or Sunday’s game against the Bengals could be a true stinker.