Alshon Jeffery

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.

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Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been medically cleared and will start against the Colts on Sunday, the club announced today.

Wentz is roughly nine months removed from tearing his ACL, so it’s no surprise Philadelphia used a cautious approach with its franchise signal-caller. While he’d been cleared for 11-on-11 drills, Wentz hadn’t been cleared for full contact until today. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated Wentz will need a week of full contact practice before he’ll be re-inserted as the club’s starter.

The Eagles had the luxury of deploying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles during their first two games and managed to post a 1-1 record. Foles wasn’t very effective during Philadelphia’s Week 1 win over the Falcons, as he completed just 56% of his passes for 117 yards and one interceptions. He performed much better against the Buccaneers on Sunday (73% completion rate, 334 yards, one touchdown), but the Eagles still lost 27-21.

Wentz, of course, was playing at an MVP pace before going down last December. In 13 starts, Wentz posted 3,296 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions and was named second-team All-Pro despite missing three games. Among the 26 quarterbacks with at least 350 attempts in 2017, Wentz ranked second in ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, fourth in passer rating, and fourth in adjusted yards per attempt.

Wentz won’t return with his full arsenal at hand, as wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is still recovering from shoulder surgery while Mike Wallace injured his ankle on Sunday. However, Jeffery is expected to practice on a limited basis this week, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, so he could return to game action in the near future. And Wallace will not be placed on injured reserve after fracturing his fibula, Pederson said today, which means the Eagles may believe he could return later this year.

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Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery Still Multiple Weeks Away

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are still multiple weeks away from playing as they recover from injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) and Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link).

Wentz is roughly nine months removed from tearing his ACL, so it’s no surprise Philadelphia is taking a cautious approach with its franchise signal-caller. While he’s been cleared for 11-on-11 drills, Wentz isn’t allowed to practice with full contact just yet. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated Wentz will need a week of full contact practice before he’ll be re-inserted as the club’s starter.

Philadelphia has the luxury of deploying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles under center until Wentz is healthy enough to play. The Eagles managed to win the season opener on Thursday night, but Foles wasn’t very effective in the ugly victory. He completed 19-of-34 passes for just 117 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception.

Jeffery, meanwhile, is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, and was at one point considered a candidate for the physically unable to perform list, which would have forced him to miss the first six games of the season. Instead, the Eagles opted to keep Jeffery on the active roster, and recent reports have indicated he could return by Week 3.

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Eagles Take Alshon Jeffery Off PUP List

While Alshon Jeffery is not expected to make his 2018 debut in Week 1, the Eagles took a step toward getting their top wide receiver in games shortly after.

Jeffery passed a physical Friday and is now off the Eagles’ PUP list, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Jeffery staying on the PUP to start the regular season would have meant he’d have to sit out six weeks. Eagles doctors don’t believe he’ll need that long to finish up his recovery from shoulder surgery.

The Eagles are expected to get Jeffery back by Week 3. He’s been out all offseason because of a February procedure to repair a torn rotator cuff, one the seventh-year wideout said he played through last season.

With the Eagles last season, Jeffery averaged just 49.3 yards per game — his lowest figure since his rookie year. But he signed a long-term extension with Philadelphia and is a vital part of the defending Super Bowl champions’ passing attack. And now nearly recovered from the shoulder issue, the 28-year-old target may have a clearer path toward future 1,000-yard seasons.

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Alshon Jeffery To Return By Week 3?

While it’s uncertain when Carson Wentz will be ready to return for the Eagles, his top wide receiver’s timetable is becoming clearer.

Alshon Jeffery is not expected to make it back by the time the defending Super Bowl champions begin their title-defense campaign, with Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reporting (via Twitter) the seventh-year wideout is set to miss at least the first two games of the season. However, optimism exists around a Week 3 return for Jeffery, the duo adds.

Jeffery’s been shelved throughout the offseason because of shoulder surgery. He played last season with a torn rotator cuff. The Eagles plan to activate Jeffery from the PUP list this weekend, and it looks like he’ll avoid the Reserve/PUP list to start the regular season. A Reserve/PUP distinction would mean the Eagles would have to operate without their No. 1 wideout for the first six regular-season weeks.

Doug Pederson said Tuesday no Jeffery decision will be made until next week, per Jeff McLane of Philly.com (on Twitter), but it looks like the Eagles have a late-September Jeffery re-emergence tentatively scheduled. However, it’s not certain that will happen. Jeffery has not practiced in 2018.

Jeffery can return to practice once being activated from the PUP list, but Eagles doctors believe it’s best for Jeffery to miss at least the first two games of the season as he finishes up a recovery from February surgery, Schefter and Mortensen report. The 28-year-old target’s caught passes on a side practice field steadily, and Eagles medical personnel have advised team brass Jeffery’s “significant” progress should allow him to avoid the Reserve/PUP list, the ESPN duo adds.

The Eagles signed Jeffery to a four-year extension late last season. His Philadelphia debut (789 receiving yards, nine touchdowns) was not as successful as some of his top Bears seasons, but the 6-foot-3 pass-catcher still caught three playoff TDs and was a vital presence during the Nick Foles-led Super Bowl march. Philly returns Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor as key receiving presences from its Super Bowl run and added Mike Wallace and Dallas Goedert to the mix. The Eagles added Markus Wheaton and Kamar Aiken as well, but neither is a lock to made the 53-man roster. They might pursue an outside upgrade via the trade market or waiver wire, Philly.com’s Zach Berman tweets.

Jeffery’s injury looks set to delay his 2018 debut, and it’s possible Wentz will be on the sideline with him when the Eagles host the Falcons to kick off this season.

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Carson Wentz Not Cleared For Contact; Latest on Alshon Jeffery

Despite being cleared for 11-on-11 drills last weekend, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has still not been cleared for contact, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (via Twitter). We are less than 11 days away from the team’s September 6 opener against the Falcons, and as Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com notes, head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated that he would like Wentz to practice for a full week after being cleared for contact before he plays in an actual game.

Which means, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com observes (via Twitter), time is getting short if Wentz is to be under center on Week 1. Pederson, meanwhile, declined to say when Wentz might be cleared. He said simply, “[w]hen they clear him, he’ll be cleared.”

Recovery from torn ACLs typically takes nine to 12 months, and September 10 will mark nine months from the time of Wentz’s ACL tear. He has consistently maintained that it will be a close call as to whether he will be ready to go for the start of the regular season, and the fact that he has still not been cleared for contact casts his chances into deeper doubt. Of course, reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will serve as the team’s signal-caller until Wentz is ready (though after Foles’ atrocious preseason, Eagles fans may not be entirely comfortable with that prospect).

And, while Wentz’s recovery has dominated headlines when it comes to injured Eagles, McLane notes in a separate tweet that Pederson also did not have an update on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who is still on the PUP list. If Jeffery remains on PUP when the season starts, he will be forced to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

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Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery To Miss Games?

Alshon Jeffery may need more time to recover than initially expected. Jeffery is progressing according to plan, but the timing of his rotator cuff surgery means there’s a chance that he might not be ready to go in Week 1, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

[RELATED: Carson Wentz Unlikely To Play In Preseason]

Jeffery is currently on the offseason PUP list, which has no real bearing on his roster status for the regular season. However, if Jeffery remains on PUP when the season starts, he’ll be forced to miss at least the first six weeks of the season. That would be a major blow to the Eagles, particularly when considering that quarterback Carson Wentz is not a lock to play in the opener either.

Despite playing through the rotator cuff injury, Jeffery caught 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He went on to add three more TDs in the playoffs, which came shortly after he signed a substantial four-year extension with the Eagles.

The Eagles have depth at the wide receiver position, but none of the other receivers have the same big-play ability as Jeffery. If Jeffery misses time, Nelson Agholor and Mike Wallace figure to see extra targets while Mack Hollins and Markus Wheaton may get more involved than previously expected. Recent addition Kamar Aiken, meanwhile, would have improved odds of making the 53-man cut.

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NFC East Notes: Giants, Jeffery, Redskins

Moving to a 3-4 defense, the Giants traded Jason Pierre-Paul to a team that uses a 4-3 scheme. But the Giants do not view Bradley Chubb‘s seemingly superior fit for a 4-3 look as a deal-breaker. New Giants DC James Bettcher doesn’t believe Chubb having played only in a 4-3 setup as enough of a deterrent for the team to automatically pass on him. However, Chubb is 6-foot-4 and 269 pounds, a large frame for an outside ‘backer.

Look at Markus Golden who came out of college in Missouri as a 4-3 defensive end who had his hand in the ground,” Bettcher said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “Comes out and two years later has double-digit sacks in this scheme. You talk about Chandler Jones who was in New England as a 4-3 defensive end and came to this scheme. It’s just like anything else, there are new things you have to learn, but it’s still playing football. It’s still rushing off the edge.”

Of course, the Giants aren’t exactly going to say Chubb is out of the question for their scheme, since the N.C. State talent could entice a pass rush-seeking team to trade up. The perceived gap between Chubb and the rest of the edge-rushing class could create a market for the Giants’ No. 2 pick that goes beyond the quarterback position. But Bettcher at least is playing the part of a coach who does not believe that Chubb’s run as a 4-3 end will be too much of a deterrent for his 3-4 approach. Chubb visited the Giants on Thursday.

Here’s more out of the Big Apple, along with a couple of other NFC East cities.

  • A team that’s largely regarded linebacker as a second- or third-tier position for many years, the Giants have now committed a staggering amount to that position compared to how it was represented on the 2017 payroll. Former first-round pick Alec Ogletree, and his $10.5MM-per-year deal that ranks third among all off-ball ‘backers, is now in the fold. And, somewhat quietly, the Giants added outside linebacker Kareem Martin for $5MM per year. Last season’s Giants did not have close to that capital allocated to any of its linebackers. Big Blue’s linebacker spending is also spiking considerably as well because of Olivier Vernon‘s relocation to outside ‘backer, Rock writes. Vernon’s $17MM-AAV figure is second only to Von Miller at this position.
  • Out until at least training camp because of rotator cuff surgery, Alshon Jeffery was confronted with the possibility of this surgery occurring last summer and nullifying his 2017 season. Having just signed a one-year Eagles deal and eyeing a big payday, Jeffery did not think that arrangement was going to work for him. “I was like, ‘No, there’s no way you’re going to do that,” Jeffery said (via Les Bowen of Philly.com) of a 2017 surgery. “We got to figure out another situation.'” Despite playing through a significant shoulder malady, Jeffery caught 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. He added three more TDs in the playoffs.
  • It’s not out of the question that 2018 is Josh Norman‘s last year with the Redskins, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington writes. Although the Redskins would still have $6MM in dead money if they were to release Norman after this season, they’d create $8.5MM in cap space. Norman’s 2019 cap figure is $14.5MM. He remains the league’s highest-paid cornerback despite two free agency periods having passed since his Washington agreement. While it’s fairly early to navigate against the 2019 cap, Washington is projected to hold the second-lowest amount of cap space next year.

Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery Out At Least 6 Months

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will be sidelined for “at least six months” after undergoing rotator cuff surgery, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jeffery is likely to miss the 2018 preseason, and his status for the regular season opener is unclear. While a source tells Anderson that Jeffery’s availability for Week 1 is “unsure,” the “expectation” is that he’ll be ready to suit up.Alshon Jeffery (Vertical)

As reports indicated earlier today, Jeffery originally suffered his shoulder injury during 2017 training camp, and played through the pain for the entire campaign and through Philadelphia’s Super Bowl run. While Jeffery post a somewhat disappointing 57 receptions and 789 yards, he did manage to get into the end zone nine times (second-most of his career). The Eagles clearly liked what they saw, as the club inked Jeffery to a four-year, $52MM extension before the regular season concluded.

Even if Jeffery is able to suit up for Week 1 in 2018, there’s reason to wonder if he’ll need a few games to ramp back up to full speed. His availability could cloud the Eagles’ wide receiver decisions in the coming weeks — Torrey Smith, for one, was expected to be a candidate for release this offseason, but it’s possible he’s retained if Philadelphia is worried about Jeffery’s outlook. Other wideouts on the Eagles’ roster include Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and Shelton Gibson.

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