The Philadelphia Eagles made some noteworthy roster moves on Sunday evening by waiving wide receiver Shelton Gibson with an injured designation (officially: “waived/injured”) and signing free agent cornerback Sojourn Shelton. (Two Sheltons ... that’s not confusing at all.)
Gibson has been dealing with a knee injury that he picked up early in training camp. The Eagles recently put out that Gibson was “week-to-week” so he wasn’t close to returning to the field. And that was very bad news for his chances of battling for a spot on the 53-man roster.
The Gibson era in Philly isn’t necessarily over just yet. If he passes through waivers unclaimed — which is possible (unless maybe Joe Douglas puts in a claim for the Jets?) — he’ll revert to the team’s injured reserve list. But from there it’s always possible the Eagles could waive Gibson from IR if he reaches an injury settlement with the team. If that happens, Gibson will be a unrestricted free agent.
The Eagles had some hopes for Gibson after originally selecting the West Virginia speedster with a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Gibson really struggled as a rookie, though. He dropped a ton of passes in offseason practices and only logged two receptions for 11 yards in his first NFL season.
It looked like Gibson was going to see a bigger role in 2018 after impressing in the preseason last year but that never happened. The coaching staff clearly didn’t trust him with playing time even after the Eagles suffered a ton of injuries at the receiver position. Gibson finished his sophomore campaign with a single catch for 48 yards. For those keeping track at home, that put Gibson’s career totals at three receptions for 59 yards.
Gibson is the second member of the Eagles’ 2017 NFL Draft class that’s no longer on the team’s current roster. Philadelphia cut sixth-round pick Elijah Qualls — who recently signed with the Ravens — last summer. Donnel Pumphrey will almost certainly be the third player no longer on the team after final cuts take place in a few weeks.
Had Gibson not gotten hurt, he would’ve had a chance to compete for a sixth wide receiver job on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. Now that competition is down to the likes of Marken Michel (who impressed against the Titans), Greg Ward, Charles Johnson, and Carlton Agudosi. And it’s entirely possible the Eagles only keep five receivers.
As for the guy that the Eagles signed — Sojourn Shelton — he’s just a camp body. He originally signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2017. He then spent some time on the Bengals’ practice squad and offseason roster before getting cut in August 2018. Shelton’s on the smaller side at 5-9, 177 pounds so he projects as a nickel cornerback.