When the Philadelphia Eagles visit Washington this Sunday, Carson Wentz’s supporting cast will look sliiiightly different than the last time these two teams met back in Week 1.
If Agholor and Howard don’t play again this week, this is what Wentz’s weapons will look like in his 2 games this year vs Skins (purposely omitted Alex Ellis from week 1). pic.twitter.com/gy4D1mbZhQ— Mike Mulhern (@MikeyMuls) December 12, 2019
One might suggest these circumstances are less than ideal.
Outside of Jay Ajayi, all of those names in the right column are practice squad call ups. They’re players that passed through waivers at least once and were available to be signed at any point prior to the Eagles promoting them. In other words, they’re far from enviable talents.
And yet, after watching much more established NFL veterans — such as Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Ajayi — struggle this season, there’s something refreshing about seeing the unproven guys get a chance.
Maybe there’s something to the young guys simply wanting it more. They weren’t playing when the Eagles won Super Bowl LII. They aren’t guaranteed to stick on the roster if they struggle. There’s really no room for complacency. These are guys who wants to establish themselves in the NFL.
This isn’t to suggest the Eagles are unquestionably better off with a bunch of lesser talented try-hards. For as much as someone like Jeffery has struggled this season, he did just have 137 receiving yards and one touchdown in Week 13. It’s entirely possible, if not downright likely, that the Eagles’ offense will continue to struggle while relying on former practice squad members.
But maybe the Eagles can get lucky with some of these guys? It looks like they already have in the case of Boston Scott, who combined for 128 yards from scrimmage on Monday Night Football. Maybe this week it’ll be the recently promoted Robert Davis who goes off against his former team.
The Eagles were able to beat the Giants in part because of how young guys like Scott, Greg Ward, and Perkins stepped up and seized their newfound opportunity. Doug Pederson specifically highlighted those players in his postgame locker room victory speech. While Pederson did that, you could tell the rest of the team was happy for them. The youth movement has sparked an energy this team has needed.
“Our goals are right here in front of us, guys. You just gotta believe.”@novacare | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/9yDe84fJZG— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 11, 2019
Can the morale boost be sustained? It remains to be seen. But if the Eagles are going to struggle, at least they’ll now be doing it with some young players who might have a future with the team. You know, as opposed to aging veterans who don’t factor in to the long-term plans.
Excited to see what the likes of JJAW, Scott, Davis, Ward, and Perkins can bring to the table down the stretch.