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.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.