UPDATE: Alshon Jeffery suffered a Lisfranc injury, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. Jeffery’s injury is expected to need surgery and he will need “many months of recovery,” according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. The Eagles officially placed Jeffery on injured reserve.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.
Not exactly a surprise but source with knowledge of #Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery’s injury status says his season is over. They’re still gathering opinions about what exactly is wrong with his foot but he’s done for the year.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 10, 2019
Indeed, this report doesn’t come as a surprise considering what Doug Pederson had to say about Jeffery’s status earlier on Tuesday.
Alshon is a little more significant. I am waiting on one more test result later this afternoon. It’s a little more significant with him, and then we have to do a course of action, a plan with him here pretty soon, probably.
Jeffery finished his 2019 campaign with 10 games played, 73 targets, 43 receptions, 490 yards (11.4 average), and four touchdowns. It was easily his least productive season since he was a rookie back in 2012.
One must wonder what the future holds for Jeffery. There’s been speculation — including from former Eagles president Joe Banner — that the team won’t bring him back in 2020. There’s ample reason to move on. Jeffery is declining with age (turns 30 year in February), he’s had injury issues, and he’s been the suspected source of anonymous criticisms of the Eagles’ starting quarterback.
The problem is that it’s not so simple for the Eagles to move on. Due to the team inexplicably guaranteeing his 2020 salary prior to this season, the Eagles can’t realistically cut Jeffery. Doing so would cause Philly to lose over $10.6 million in cap space. Trading Jeffery is more financially viable since the Eagles would only lose $749,500 in cap space. But who is really taking on his contract, especially now that he’ll be working his way back from a significant injury?
Even if technically not Achilles rupture, still going to be similar/nearby with posterior capsular/ligament tear which still means end of his season. Too bad. https://t.co/Ur0lZcRaNF— David J. Chao (@ProFootballDoc) December 10, 2019
It seems like the Eagles will have to make the Jeffery marriage last for at least one more season. Of course, him being around for 2020 shouldn’t preclude the Eagles from making some offseason additions to the wide receiver position.
In the meantime, the Eagles still have at least three games left to play in 2019. The team can free up a roster spot by putting Jeffery on injured reserve. Once they do that, the only three wide receivers on the 53-man roster will be: Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Greg Ward. Pederson described Agholor’s availability as “up in the air” after missing Monday’s game so JJAW and Ward might be the only two healthy receivers on the team.
The Eagles could look to re-re-re-acquire Jordan Matthews or try signing another free agent but it looks like the team will opt with a practice squad promotion instead.
No workouts for the #Eagles today, which would indicate that they'll sign at least one of the 3 WRs they have have on their PS to their active roster.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) December 10, 2019
The Eagles have three wide receivers on their practice squad: Marken Michel, Robert Davis, and Marcus Green. Michel spent the entire offseason with the Eagles before being recently re-signed to the practice squad. Green signed with the Eagles back in September while Davis came to Philly in October.
Jeffery hasn’t had a good season but losing him still isn’t ideal. He just had nine receptions for 137 yards and one touchdown in Week 13. His replacement(s) aren’t likely to be as effective.
Then again, the Eagles got some good production out of practice squad call ups like the aforementioned Ward, Boston Scott, and Joshua Perkins against the Giants. Maybe one of the young guys can step up in Jeffery’s absence. The Eagles sure need that to happen as they make a playoff push down the stretch.