Alshon Jeffery

Eagles Notes: Johnson, Ajayi, Mills

Let’s take a quick look at a few items from the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Eagles starting RT Lane Johnson is in the concussion protocol, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson suffered a head injury during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, and while he tried to play through it, the injury worsened and he was ultimately forced to exit (Twitter link via McLane).
  • The Eagles can ill afford to lose Johnson, arguably the best right tackle in football, as they fight for the NFC East title. But if they are without Johnson for any period of time, they could turn to rookie Andre Dillard rather than veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai, as McLane tweets.
  • Jay Ajayi finally found an NFL home for 2019 when he signed with the Eagles on Friday. Interestingly, the deal includes a right of first refusal for 2020, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. So if it wants, Philadelphia can match any offer Ajayi receives on the open market, which could be significant if the team lets Jordan Howard walk in free agency.
  • Cornerback Jalen Mills is eligible for free agency this offseason, and while he is not perfect, he has been very good since returning from injury in Week 7, and McLane says Mills may be playing his way into a second contract with the Eagles (Twitter link).
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com believes the Eagles need to completely overhaul their WR corps this offseason, and he offers a few names the club could target in free agency and the draft. He also says the Eagles could find a trade partner for Alshon Jeffery and/or DeSean Jackson, though obviously the returns on either player would be minimal.

NFC East Notes: Haskins, Cooper, Jeffery

Could the dawn of the Dwayne Haskins era be upon us? Redskins starting QB Case Keenum is dealing with a foot injury and did not practice today, which could force Jay Gruden to turn to one of his backup signal-callers when his team takes on the Giants this weekend. John Keim of ESPN.com notes that Colt McCoy, who hasn’t taken part in a full practice since August 11, participated in the team’s walk-through today, but Gruden wants to see him plant and push off before he thrusts him back into action. 

Haskins, the 15th-overall pick in the 2019 draft, is Washington’s QB of the future, and Gruden did not rule out the possibility of turning to the Ohio State product this weekend. However, Gruden does expect Keenum to be ready to go, which means Redskins fans may have to wait a little longer for their first regular season glimpse of Haskins.

Now for more injury-related items from the NFC East:

  • A brief scare for the Cowboys, as WR Amari Cooper left practice early today with a right ankle injury. However, Todd Archer of ESPN.com says the team does not believe it’s a serious issue and expects Cooper to see his normal workload against the Saints on Sunday night.
  • Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery was a full participant in practice today, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That obviously suggests that he’ll play in tomorrow night’s key matchup with the Packers. Philadelphia could certainly use him, as the team is at risk of falling to 1-3.
  • The Giants are still short-handed at wideout, as receiver Russell Shepard has been diagnosed with a foot sprain, per Rapoport (via Twitter). Shepard’s availability for Week 4 is in doubt.

Injury Notes: 9/20/19

Here are the latest significant injury-related notes from around the league:

  • Marshall Newhouse, whom the Patriots signed last week, will serve as the club’s starting left tackle until Isaiah Wynn returns, per Doug Kyed of NESN.com (via Twitter).
  • As expected, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will not play in Week 3, but the club is still optimistic about the availability of Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets.
  • Buccaneers LB Devin White will not play this weekend, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out of the concussion protocol and will play in Week 3 per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (via PFT). Rookie QB Daniel Jones will be making his first start, so Shepard’s presence will be especially helpful.
  • The Seahawks are getting closer to full strength, as both WR David Moore and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah are expected to play in Week 3, per Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk. We had already heard that Ansah was likely to make his Seattle debut this weekend, but Moore’s return is earlier than expected, even after we learned at the end of August that he would avoid IR.
  • Top Jets defenders C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams are not expected to play this week, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. The Week 3 outlook is also bleak for WR Demaryius Thomas and LB Jordan Jenkins.
  • Tyler Kroft‘s Bills debut may be put on hold for awhile longer. Kroft was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, but as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, Buffalo HC Sean McDermott told reporters that Kroft injured his ankle in Thursday’s practice and will undergo further evaluation.

Latest On DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has an abdominal strain that is expected to sideline him for about two weeks, sources tell ESPN’s Tim McManus. Making matters worse, Philadelphia is unlikely to have Alshon Jeffery in Week 3. Both suffered injuries against the Falcons.

It is unclear when the injury actually occurred, but Jackson was not listed on the Eagles’ Week 2 injury report. However, he felt discomfort during warmups and only played 11 snaps on offense against the Falcons before exiting. Jeffery is dealing with a calf strain. Although not considered major, Jeffery’s status for the Eagles’ Week 3-4 games — which occur in a 10-day span — is in some doubt, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

Jackson had originally hoped to play this Sunday against the Lions, but the Eagles will undoubtedly remain cautious with their speedster. The veteran logged eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns in Philadelphia’s Week 1 victory against the Redskins. His presence as a deep threat is extremely valuable to the offense.

With Jackson and Jeffery both potentially out for two weeks, the Eagles are down to three healthy receivers on their 53-man roster: Nelson AgholorMack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Arcega-Whiteside and Hollins played 93% and 85% of the snaps last week, respectively, due to the injuries to Jackson and Jeffery.

In the interim, the Eagles could look to promote either Greg Ward or Marcus Green from their practice squad, along with potentially signing ex-Eagle free agent Jordan Matthews. Matthews, who had three productive years for the organization between 2014 and 2016, was among the final cuts for the 49ers this past August. Matthews worked out for the Saints on Tuesday.

Eagles Restructure Alshon Jeffery’s Deal

On a busy day for contract restructures and wide receivers, the Eagles dabbled in both areas. They reached an agreement to restructure Alshon Jeffery‘s contract, the team announced.

Jeffery agreed to convert most of his $11.75MM 2019 base salary into a signing bonus, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). More importantly, $11.5MM of Jeffery’s $12.75MM base salary in 2020 now becomes fully guaranteed. No guaranteed 2020 money was previously included in Jeffery’s deal.

After entering the offseason without a notable receiver commitment for 2020, at least in terms of guarantees, the Eagles have are now tethered to their Jeffery-DeSean Jackson tandem for next season. Jackson turns 33 later this year; Jeffery will be 30 in February. The Eagles traded for Jackson and gave him $13MM in full guarantees. He is on Philadelphia’s 2020 books at $8.9MM.

Philadelphia extended Jeffery on a four-year, $52.25MM deal in December 2017. After missing three games, the veteran wideout posted 65 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. His yardage figure improved from a 16-game 2017, though Jeffery was playing with a shoulder injury that season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Peat, Cowboys, Eagles, Crowder

Andrus Peat committed four penalties during the Saints‘ divisional-round win over the Eagles, and part of the reason for his struggles surfaced. The veteran guard suffered a broken hand in Week 17, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. NOLA.com’s Josh Katzenstein notes the Saints’ starting left guard broke his right hand. The injury during New Orleans’ meaningless regular-season finale led to Peat undergoing surgery during the bye week, Schefter adds. Against the Eagles, Peat played through “serious pain.” It is unclear if or how much Peat aggravated his injury on Sunday, and it’s not certain if he will be available to face the Rams. Though, Peat’s postgame comments do not point to him resting against Los Angeles. He played through ankle and quadriceps injuries this season and suffered a concussion. This was also the second straight year the Saints’ playoff opener has involved a Peat injury. The former first-round pick suffered a broken fibula during New Orleans’ wild card-round win last year and missed the Saints’ divisional game in Minnesota.

As the coaching carousel spins, here is the latest from the NFC’s non-coaching news cycle:

  • The Cowboys are among the league leaders in projected cap space, at $54MM-plus, but they are not expecting to be major players in free agency. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t play free agency at all; we just won’t be paying a high-profile free agent, more than likely,” VP Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan (via Jon Machota of the Dallas News on Twitter). “Never rule anything out all the way, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s going to be our strategy going into the offseason.” Dallas is likely saving money to pay its glut of extension-eligible young talents. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones and Jaylon Smith are now all eligible for re-ups. With Dallas also making Zack Martin the richest guard in football last year, big outside investments may not be realistic this offseason.
  • Speaking of playing through injury, Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery played through cracked ribs against the Saints, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. An MRI last week revealed the injury. Jeffery dropped a Nick Foles pass that ricocheted into Marshon Lattimore‘s arms. This setback likely will not be nearly as troublesome for Jeffery to surmount as the one he played through in 2017. Jeffery’s previous shoulder issue caused him to miss all of Philadelphia’s offseason program and sidelined him into the 2018 season.
  • While a scenario may exist involving the Eagles franchise-tagging Foles and attempting to trade him, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link) expects the quarterback to hit the free agent market. Foles’ impending exit would further tether the Eagles to Carson Wentz, who has suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back years. But Wentz said Monday doctors have assured him this back injury is not expected to linger long-term.
  • Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Redskins do not want to let another of their mainstay wide receivers walk as a free agent. Washington allowed both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to depart in 2017, and while neither 30-something pass-catcher has matched his Washington work since, the Redskins have not been the same at wideout either. Jay Gruden said (via ESPN.com’s John Keim) the team wants to try to re-sign Jamison Crowder “for sure.” Crowder will not be looking at Jarvis Landry money but is a sneaky-interesting name that could be on the market. Although injuries plagued Crowder this season, limiting him to nine games (career-low 388 receiving yards), it will not be especially cheap for Washington to bring him back. “It’s a great time to be a slot receiver,” Crowder said, via Keim.

NFC Notes: Thomas, Bradford, Eagles, Reid

The Seahawks have indeed fined safety Earl Thomas, who missed practice for non-injury reasons for the second consecutive week. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Seahawks — who were considering imposing a substantial fine on Thomas last Sunday — fined the star defender for missing practice and for “other things.” Rapoport adds that “communication should increase going forward,” but it is presently unclear as to whether he is referring to communication between Thomas and Seattle or between Seattle and other clubs who may want to trade for Thomas. We heard earlier today that the Steelers were interested in Thomas, but there has been no communication between Seattle and Pittsburgh at this point.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds that the Seahawks are still asking for a second-round pick for Thomas, and that the Chiefs remain interested (though Kansas City does not want to give up a second-rounder). The Cowboys, of course, offered a second-round pick to Seattle earlier this year, but the Seahawks wanted more from Dallas at the time since the two teams were set to play each other last week. Now that the Cowboys-Seahawks matchup has taken place, perhaps the Seahawks will be more willing to consider the Cowboys’ offer, but Rapoport indicates (video link) that the Seahawks want two second round picks in exchange for Thomas, which seems like an especially lofty asking price.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Sam Bradford is now the Cardinals‘ No. 3 quarterback, per Schefter, who says that going forward, rookie Josh Rosen will be the starter and will be backed up by Mike Glennon (Twitter link). That means that Bradford will generally be inactive on game days and will miss out on his active roster bonuses of $312,500 per game, a situation we explored in more detail last week.
  • Another tough blow for Rams outside linebacker Dominique Easley. Per the team’s official website, Easley, who has suffered three torn ACLs since 2011, may be heading for his fourth surgery in the last seven years. Head coach Sean McVay said that Easley, who converted to outside linebacker during training camp, is suffering complications from his previous injuries.
  • Prior to signing him a few days ago, the Panthers did not ask new safety Eric Reid about his anthem protests or his collusion case against the league, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. GM Marty Hurney said team ownership was not involved in the signing, and that it was a purely football move.
  • Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery will make his 2018 debut today, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (via Twitter). Rapoport (video link) reports that Jeffery’s status for this week was up in the air because of a virus that made him seriously ill, but that his shoulder is good to go.
  • As Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer observes, the Eagles have four prominent starters playing out the final year of their respective contracts: Jordan Hicks, Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi, and Brandon Graham. Even if the Eagles wait until after the 2019 season to give quarterback Carson Wentz what will surely be a massive extension, Philadelphia has to plan for that contract now, which means the club will have some difficult decisions to make with respect to its impending free agents. McLane posits that Hicks is the most likely of the above-named players to be retained, and he examines the futures of all four players in detail.
  • Jane Slater of the NFL Network reports that Cowboys WR Terrance Williams will be inactive today, and that the recently re-signed Brice Butler will be leaned upon more heavily as a result (Twitter link). Williams, the most expensive receiver on Dallas’ roster, may be facing a suspension stemming from his May arrest and recently missed practice, though that absence was reportedly an excused one and was unrelated to the possible suspension. Williams, though, has just two catches for 18 yards this season, and the team wants to give someone else a shot.

Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery Cleared For Contact

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been cleared for contact, an important hurdle in his gaining authorization to take the field on game day, as head coach Doug Pederson told reporters, including Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). However, it’s still unclear as to whether Jeffery will be available when Philadelphia faces Tennessee on Sunday.

Jeffery, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, participated in individual work last week but is now cleared for 11-on-11 sessions. The Eagles wanted quarterback Carson Wentz to get a week of full contact drills under his belt before being inserted into the starting lineup, and could conceivably take the same approach with Jeffery.

Jeffery, 28, originally signed a one-year, $9.5MM deal with the Eagles in the spring of 2017, but Philadelphia was impressed enough with his production to extend him on a four-year, $52MM pact in December. While Jeffery post a somewhat disappointing 57 receptions and 789 yards last year, he did manage to get into the end zone nine times (second-most of his career).

The Eagles’ wide receiver corps could desperately use Jeffery, especially after the club placed Mike Wallace on injured reserve last week. Philadelphia’s depth chart is currently comprised of Nelson Agholor, Jordan MatthewsKamar Aiken, and Shelton Gibson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Titans, Mariota, Falcons, McKinley, Colts, Doyle, Eagles, Ajayi

Marcus Mariota‘s injury remains a mystery. It hasn’t been disclosed exactly what he’s dealing with although it has reportedly caused him to lose some feeling in his hand. Blaine Gabbert started, and won, for the Titans last week, and it’s possible he’s asked to do so again this week against the Jaguars.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters that he would make the decision between Gabbert and Mariota within the next “24 hours” and that he would let them know then according to Jim Wyatt of the Titans’ official website (Twitter link). If Mariota can’t go it would be a huge blow for Tennessee against the league’s top defense. One thing that could make their matchup a bit easier is that Jalen Ramsey was added to the injury report Friday with an ankle injury, although it’s unclear if he’s in any danger of missing the game.

Here’s more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Falcons just can’t seem to catch a break. It was already known they’d be without Devonta Freeman and several other starters, but it was announced today that they’d also be without talented pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley. McKinley is currently dealing with a groin injury.
  • The Colts will be quite shorthanded for their trip to Philadelphia as the team ruled out tight end Jack Doyle, running back Marlon Mack, defensive tackle Denico Autry, and right tackle Anthony Castonzo. Doyle’s injury is a big blow, as he formed an effective tight end duo with Eric Ebron through the first two games.
  • The Eagles will also be significantly shorthanded on offense, with their backfield being particularly banged up. Running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles have been ruled out, while Corey Clement is questionable. If Clement isn’t able to go, the running back situation would be dire. Alshon Jeffery is questionable, but reporters have written that he’s very unlikely to play.

Alshon Jeffery Unlikely To Play Vs. Colts

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery returned to practice on a limited basis this week, but it’s still unlikely that he plays against the Colts in Week 3, according to Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP.

“Yeah,” head coach Doug Pederson said when asked if Jeffery was progressing. “I mean, he’s a lot like Carson (Wentz) was a couple weeks ago being able to get back into the mix and do some 11-on-11 stuff. This will be a big week in that regard.”

Jeffery, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, participated in individual drives this week, per Parks. He still hasn’t taken part in 11-on-11 work, which could mean he’s yet to be cleared for contact. For reference, Philadelphia wanted Wentz to take part in at least one week of full contact drills before being re-inserted into the starting lineup, so the club could conceivably be taking a similar approach with Jeffery.

Jeffery, 28, originally signed a one-year, $9.5MM deal with the Eagles in the spring of 2017, but Philadelphia was impressed enough with his production to extend him on a four-year, $52MM pact in December. While Jeffery post a somewhat disappointing 57 receptions and 789 yards last year, he did manage to get into the end zone nine times (second-most of his career).

The Eagles’ wide receiver corps could desperately use Jeffery, especially after the club placed Mike Wallace on injured reserve this week. On Tuesday, Philadelphia signed Jordan Matthews to play alongside Nelson Agholor, Kamar Aiken, and Shelton Gibson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.