Jordan Matthews’ season is over. The Buffalo Bills officially placed the 25-year-old wide receiver on the injured reserve list, per an announcement from the team. Matthews has been battling through a knee injury as of late.
2017 was a lost season for Matthews. The former Eagles slot receiver was targeted 36 times this year for a mere 25 catches, 282 yards, and one touchdown. Not a great outing for him to have as he becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
The Eagles traded Matthews — along with a 2018 third-round pick — to the Bills during training camp in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby. Darby has been a starter all year for Philadelphia when healthy, which has only been four games since Darby suffered a dislocated ankle in Week 1.
Matthews’ absence has really allowed 2015 first-round pick Nelson Agholor to shine this year. Through 12 games, Agholor has 40 receptions for 599 yards (15.0 average) and seven receiving touchdowns. Agholor hasn’t been the volume target Matthews was but he’s been much more efficient and explosive for Philadelphia.
If you project Agholor’s stats over a 16-game span, he’d finish this season with 53 receptions for 800 yards and nine receiving touchdowns. Compare that to Matthews’ most productive season, which took place in 2015: 85 receptions for 997 yards and eight scores. Agholor’s 15.0 yards per reception is much more efficient than Matthews’ 11.3 mark in that season. Also, Agholor isn’t picking up a ton of garbage time production like Matthews was.
Back when the Eagles traded Matthews, some were concerned about how Carson Wentz and Philadelphia’s offense would fare without him. It turns out they’ve been just fine without him. Wentz has been playing like an MVP candidate. The Eagles lead the NFL in scoring.
It’ll be interesting to see where Matthews lands in free agency this offseason. There’s no guarantee the Bills bring him back, since he was essentially a throw-in for the Darby trade.