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Mack Hollins Injury: Eagles wide receiver placed on injured reserve

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Well, this is unexpected.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a bad surprise: the Philadelphia Eagles are placing second-year wide receiver Mack Hollins on injured reserve, according to an official announcement from the team.

Hollins hasn’t been in action since the Eagles’ first preseason game against the Steelers on August 9. There was thought he might be able to return to the field this week — Hollins himself said he expected to play on Thursday night — but that hope quickly dissipated. On Tuesday, Doug Pederson said Hollins suffered a “minor setback” related to his groin injury and ruled him out of the Eagles’ Thursday night contest against the Atlanta Falcons.

Hollins isn’t necessarily out for the season just because he’s been placed on the injured reserve list. He’s eligible to be activated after Week 8 since NFL teams are allowed to return two players from IR per season. There’s some buzz Hollins could be back later this year. Veteran tight end Richard Rodgers is another candidate for such designation.

In the meantime, Hollins’ absence is another significant hit to Philadelphia’s wide receiver corps. With Hollins out and Alshon Jeffery possibly not back until Week 3, the Eagles are currently without two of their top receivers. This development means the Eagles only have five healthy wide receivers: Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson, DeAndre Carter, and Markus Wheaton. Philadelphia also kept Rashard Davis and Greg Ward Jr. on the practice squad.

Hollins’ absence opens a window of opportunity for Gibson, who looked much improved during the summer, to step up. Carter and Wheaton could also get some opportunities as well. Wheaton seems most like a direct replacement for Hollins’ role in the short-term.

Placing Hollins on injured reserve frees up a roster spot. The Eagles will soon need to make some more changes to the roster when Nigel Bradham and Deiondre’ Hall are done serving their suspensions tomorrow and begin to count against the 53-man limit.

UPDATE: A small note about the practice squad.