With Alshon Jeffery out for the season, Eagles may not be able to rely on Agholor either
PHILADELPHIA – DeSean Jackson is out for the rest of the regular season, and Alshon Jeffery's season is over now that the Eagles made it official by placing him on injured reserve Thursday morning with a foot injury.
They were two of the Eagles' top three wide receivers coming into the season. Nelson Agholor, the third part of that trio, might remain sidelined for the foreseeable future with a knee injury that has kept him out of two of the past three games.
"I’m in a position right now where it’s kind of a stalemate point," Agholor said Wednesday when asked if his knee feels better than it did last week. "It’s taking its course. It’s getting better."
Agholor said the injury initially happened against Minnesota on Oct. 13. He was able to play through it until he fell on his knees trying to make a fourth-quarter catch in the back of the end zone against New England on Nov. 17.
"Actually, that made it worse, and a little bit more uncomfortable," Agholor said.
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Agholor didn't play the following week against Seattle. He played against Miami on Dec. 1, when he had three catches for 41 yards. But he didn't practice last week or play Monday night against the Giants.
Agholor gave the impression that it doesn't look promising for a return this Sunday against Washington.
"It’s a weird deal because you want to treat it every day," Agholor said. "You want to try to get it right. So I can’t give you an exact timetable."
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Agholor also didn't rule out offseason surgery on his knee.
"I hope that’s not the case," he said. "I think the training staff is going to do everything they can to help me, to make sure that’s not the case. They’re already doing an amazing job."
The Eagles only had three wide receivers on the game-day roster against the Giants, in part because head coach Doug Pederson said he was hoping Agholor would be able to play.
Then Jeffery hurt his foot in the second quarter, an injury that Pederson called "significant."
That left J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, a rookie, and Greg Ward, a practice squad player as of three weeks ago, as the only wide receivers in the game.
Then Arcega-Whiteside left with an injury late in the fourth quarter, leaving the Eagles with only one wide receiver for overtime. Pederson said Tuesday that Arcega-Whiteside will be able to play against Washington.
Tight end Josh Perkins, himself a practice squad player until his promotion less than two weeks ago, filled in at wide receiver for Arcega-Whiteside.
The Eagles, who won 23-17 in overtime, should be better prepared at the position against Washington.
For one, Ward, Perkins and running back Boston Scott showed they can be a big part of the offense after helping the Eagles back from a 17-3 halftime deficit against the Giants.
"It was just a matter of time," Ward said about enduring three seasons on the Eagles' practice squad until getting his chance. "It sucks the way it happened (with the injuries). I never wish that on anybody."
Secondly, the Eagles have three wide receivers on the practice squad – Robert Davis, Marken Michel and Marcus Green.
Davis was promoted Thursday morning to fill Jeffery's roster spot. The Eagles could promote another wide receiver by the end of the week if Agholor can't play. The Eagles would have to cut a player to make room.
Davis, who's 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, is the only one of the three with NFL experience. Davis was Washington's sixth-round pick in 2017, and spent that season on the practice squad. He was on injured reserve in 2018, before getting into three games this season, with 1 reception for 11 yards.
Washington waived him on Oct. 1, and he signed with the Eagles' practice squad six days later.
Michel, the older brother of Patriots running back Sony Michel, was with the Eagles throughout training camp. Green was the sixth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons last spring.
In the meantime, the Eagles relished the contributions they received from Arcega-Whiteside (a clutch 22-yard catch on the game-tying TD drive), Ward (4 catches for 34 yards), Perkins (5 catches for 37 yards) and running back Boston Scott (59 yards rushing, 69 yards receiving) against the Giants.
"Those guys gotta be prepared, and we expect the level of play to stay the same," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. "It was really fun. That's one of the rewarding things about coaching is seeing guys go out there, and make those plays."
Agholor said he felt the same way.
"Amazing," he said about watching them play. "I told them I just loved their fight. I loved that they stayed in there, and they did their job, and they weren’t going to quit. It was great."
As for Agholor, he's eligible for free agency after the season. He knows that missing time now can hurt him. But so can returning too soon.
He said he's not thinking about that now.
"The most important thing right now is to try to get healthy, to help these guys out," he said.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.