Dallas Goedert

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Leonard, Cowboys, Giants, Commanders, Del Rio

Shaquille Leonard‘s free agency decision brought additional intrigue due to its NFC East-only nature, and Jerry Jones said during an interview with 105.3 The Fan (h/t The Athletic’s Jon Machota) the chase did not come down to money. The Colts still owe Leonard $6.1MM guaranteed for the rest of this year. The sixth-year linebacker will collect $416K in prorated base salary from the Eagles, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. That checks in above the veteran minimum, and Yates adds the Eagles included a $100K incentive and $17K per game in roster bonuses.

Leonard played 2 1/2 seasons on a five-year, $98.5MM accord — one that topped the ILB market until the Ravens’ Roquan Smith deal earlier this year — but saw two 2022 back surgeries impact his career. Visiting both the Cowboys and Eagles (ahead of the NFC East powers’ rematch Sunday), Leonard said (via AllPhly.com’s Zach Berman) his bond with Nick Sirianni played a key role in the Eagles choice. Sirianni was the Colts’ OC from 2018-20, Leonard’s first three NFL seasons (all of which resulted in All-Pro honors). He will attempt to recapture that form ahead of another free agency run in 2024.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

Eagles Expect Dallas Goedert To Avoid IR

Seeing a shoulder injury produce an IR stint last season, Dallas Goedert became one of several Eagles starters to sustain a short-term malady that required him to be moved off the 53-man roster for at least four games. While Goedert underwent surgery to repair a fractured forearm, he remains on the Eagles’ active roster a week later.

Placing the veteran tight end on IR nearly two weeks after arm surgery would be unusual, but it would not result in any additional missed games. Since the Eagles’ bye came in Week 10, the team still has the option of placing Goedert on IR and seeing him eligible to return by Week 15. Nick Sirianni, however, said (via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane) he expects the sixth-year vet to remain on the active roster during his rehab effort.

Goedert’s surgery took place Nov. 6. A one-month timetable surfaced initially, and with the injury occurring just before Philadelphia’s bye, the team is planning a week-to-week strategy. Goedert remaining on the 53-man roster (and then being scratched on gamedays) will give the Eagles the chance to see if the former second-round pick can return earlier than expected. Parking him on IR would also mandate missed time during a key schedule sector.

Goedert will not play against the Chiefs on Monday night, and a return against the Bills in Week 12 appears unlikely as well. But the Eagles holding off on an IR move should put a return over the ensuing two weeks — against the 49ers and then the Cowboys rematch — in play. Given the strength of the Eagles’ schedule in this span, it is understandable they want to keep all options open with Goedert.

Trading Zach Ertz in 2021, the Eagles committed to Goedert — via a four-year, $57MM extension — soon after. He has since solidified himself as one of the league’s best all-around tight ends. This season, Goedert has dominated Philly TE production. Jack Stoll is the only other tight end to have caught a pass for the team this season; the former UDFA has two catches. The Eagles also have August trade acquisition Albert Okwuegbunam rostered, though the ex-Bronco has only played in one game this season. Grant Calcaterra, a 2022 sixth-rounder, practiced fully after missing Week 9 with a concussion. Goedert’s absence may point to the Eagles leaning more on their wide receivers, with Julio Jones now joining Olamide Zaccheaus as auxiliary Jalen Hurts weaponry with Quez Watkins still on IR.

The Eagles are attempting to match the Seahawks (2013-14) and Packers (2020-21) as recent NFC teams to repeat in securing home-field advantage. The No. 1 seed is more critical under the NFL’s current playoff format, which has forced No. 2-seeded teams to play in the first round since the 2020 postseason expansion. At 8-1, the Eagles sit a game ahead of the Lions in this race. Although the Eagles must navigate a difficult upcoming stretch, they still have two Giants games and a Cardinals matchup remaining. Tankathon lists the Lions as having the 26th-most difficult schedule remaining; Philly’s ranks 24th.

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert To Undergo Surgery

The Eagles came away with a key victory on Sunday, but their offense was dealt a blow in the process. Tight end Dallas Goedert suffered a fractured forearm, as detailed by ESPN’s Tim McManus.

An MRI will take place on Monday to determine the extent of the injury, but Goedert is in line to miss signficant time already. As McManus notes, the 28-year-old is a candidate to be placed on injured reserve, a move which would guarantee at least a four-week absence. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports Goedert could have surgery as early as today, and that a recovery timeline of roughly one month should be expected (video link).

The former second-rounder went down with a shoulder injury around this time last season, and he missed five games as a result. The Eagles saw a signficant downturn in production from the TE spot during that span, underlying Goedert’s importance to the team’s passing attack. The South Dakota State alum posted 702 yards and three touchdowns in 2022 despite the missed time, which represented a strong follow-up to his career-best 830 yards from the previous season.

Goedert has remained a consistent producer in 2023 for the defending NFC champions, putting up a 38-410-2 statline through nine contests. While the Eagles’ offense still has a strong ground game and the receiver tandem of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith to depend on, Goedert’s absence will be felt once the team comes back from its Week 10 bye. A trio of candidates are available to take on starting tight end duties.

Jack Stoll played the most snaps at the position after Goedert went down, with offseason trade acquisition Albert Okwuegbunam also in the mix to take on an increased workload. Grant Calcaterra missed the Week 9 win while recovering from a concussion, but with the bye week looming he should be able to suit up for Philadelphia’s next contest. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles arrange their TE room for the short-term future knowing they will once again be without Goedert atop the depth chart for a stretch.

Eagles Activate TE Dallas Goedert From IR

After having to wait longer than expected, the Eagles will have their top tight end available for Week 16. The team announced on Tuesday that Dallas Goedert has been activated from IR.

Philadelphia had designated him for return last week, leading to the expectation that he would be able to suit up for Sunday’s win over the Bears. Instead, he remained sidelined for that game, but this move still falls comfortably within the 21-day window he had to be activated. The move will allow him to play on Christmas Eve against the Cowboys.

Goedert has been out since Week 10 due to a shoulder injury. That interrupted what has been another productive season for him, the first without Zach Ertz present as competition for targets. The 27-year-old posted 544 yards and three touchdowns on 43 catches through nine games prior to being sidelined. Despite the missed time, he still ranks third on the team in receiving yards, behind only A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

The Eagles have won five straight games since the contest in which Goedert went down, their only loss of the season. That demonstrates the ability of their offense to overcome his absence, though a return to full strength will still be a welcomed sight given his production. A win on Saturday against Dallas would clinch the NFC East title and the top seed in the conference for Philadelphia.

A contest which was already important given its playoff implications became even more intriguing yesterday when it was reported that Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is facing the possibility of a multi-week absence. Gardner Minshew is expected to play in his place, so having a full complement of pass-catchers via a healthy Goedert could prove critical for Philadelphia’s offense. The unit has been elite in the running game in particular, of course, but a return from the former second-rounder would boost the Eagles’ aerial attack as well.

The move leaves Philadelphia with three IR activations remaining for the season, with safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and edge rusher Robert Quinn likely to use up two of the others. Their expected returns, along with that of Goedert, should help keep the Eagles in Super Bowl contention.

Injury Updates: Taylor, Eagles, Morse, McCoy

Early in Saturday’s historic loss to the Vikings, the Colts saw star running back Jonathan Taylor leave the game without tallying a single carry. Tests showed that Taylor suffered a sprained ankle, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and while it was considered “nothing major,” it was enough to keep Taylor out for the remainder of the game.

In Taylor’s absence, in-season trade acquisition Zack Moss took over as the team’s lead back, assisted by Deon Jackson. Both put forth good performances for the rest of the contest, combining for 136 rushing yards on 37 carries.

With the Colts on the brink of elimination from postseason contention at 4-9-1, it’s not very surprising that Taylor didn’t risk his long-term health to return. Now the question arises of whether or not interim head coach Jeff Saturday and company will bring back Taylor at all for the rest of the season. If there’s no hope for a playoff run, will Indianapolis want to risk the long-term health of one of its keystone players or will it ride Moss and Jackson for the rest of the year?

Here are a few more injury updates from this weekend, starting with a player who didn’t even get to make an appearance:

  • Some were expecting to see Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert return from injury this week against the Bears, but ultimately, Philadelphia did not activate him. According to Schefter, Goedert is still expected to return from the injury soon, but “it’s not expected to be until next” week’s division game in Dallas. The Eagles will be excited to have their starting tight end back after relying on Jack Stoll and rookie sixth-round pick Grant Calcaterra for the past five games.
  • The Bills continued to take hits to their interior offensive line today after starting center Mitch Morse was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Backup guard Greg Van Roten, who was already filling in at right guard for an injured Ryan Bates, moved to center following Morse’s departure with backup offensive tackle David Quessenberry filling the empty slot at right guard. There is reason for concern due to Morse’s history with concussions. Back in 2020, it was reported he had suffered his fifth career concussion. It’s unclear if he’s suffered any since then, but the extensive history of brain trauma should not be taken lightly by the Bills training staff.
  • Another team that had to dig deep into the depth chart due to concussions, the Cardinals saw quarterback Colt McCoy leave today’s loss to the Broncos with a concussion. McCoy was slated to fill in for the remainder of the season after Kyler Murray‘s torn ACL, so with McCoy out, Arizona turned to third-string quarterback Trace McSorley. McSorley struggled in the loss, completing less than 50-percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions, but the Cardinals didn’t have another option. The team recently signed David Blough off of the Vikings practice squad but did not have him available for today’s game. Already eliminated from playoff contention at 4-10, there’s no reason for Arizona to rush anyone back from injury. If McCoy cannot be cleared by their Christmas night matchup with the Buccaneers, McSorley and Blough will be in line to lead the team from under center.

Eagles Designate Dallas Goedert For Return

Seeing their pass offense take a substantial leap this season, the Eagles are gearing up to have another of Jalen Hurts‘ weapons back soon. They designated Dallas Goedert for return from IR on Wednesday morning.

Goedert has been down with a shoulder injury since Week 10. Having missed four games, the veteran tight end can return to action this week. Although the team has some time (three weeks) to activate the fifth-year pass catcher, a Week 15 return has been in play for a bit now.

Philadelphia has three injury activations remaining. The 12-1 squad has two other key players — C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Robert Quinn — on IR, but neither is eligible to come back. If the Eagles activate Goedert, Gardner-Johnson and Quinn, that will represent their eight-player allotment for the year. Goedert, however, represents a key piece for Philly’s offense and will give Hurts’ MVP campaign another boost.

In nine games to start the season, Goedert was on pace for a career-best slate. Beginning his first season without Zach Ertz in the picture, the highly paid tight end is averaging a career-most 60.4 receiving yards per game. He is at 43 catches for 544 yards and three touchdowns. The former second-round pick represents a key Hurts option alongside A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, though Hurts’ MVP push has not exactly lost steam during Goedert’s absence.

The Division I-FCS product has already totaled four 70-plus-yard receiving games this season, including a 100-yard performance in his most recent full game (Week 9 against the Texans). Despite missing four games, Goedert still ranks sixth among tight ends in receiving yards. In terms of yards per game, only Travis Kelce has more at this position this season.

The Eagles have Goedert tied to a four-year, $57MM deal — agreed to in November of last year. This season doubles as the first year of that pact, one that could look quite team-friendly soon. Drafted shortly after the Eagles won Super Bowl LII, Goedert is on track to help the team claim the NFC’s top seed for the first time since that season.

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert Eyeing Week 15 Return

Dallas Goedert is hoping to return to the field as soon as possible. The tight end told ESPN’s Tim McManus (Twitter link) that he’s hoping to play when first eligible in Week 15.

Goedert suffered a shoulder injury in mid-November that landed him on injured reserve. The tight end revealed to McManus that he actually suffered a small fracture of the glenoid bone in his shoulder. Fortunately, the injury was never expected to knock Goedert out for the season, and it sounds like he’s hoping to return when first eligible. Even if the pass catcher needs a bit more time, it sounds like he’ll definitely be back before the end of the regular season.

The 27-year-old had a career season in 2021, finishing with 830 receiving yards. Through nine games this season, Goedert hauled in 43 receptions for 544 yards and three touchdowns. At the time of his injury, Pro Football Focus ranked him fourth at the position, and Goedert had totaled the third-most snaps at his position before being sidelined.

In the two games that Goedert has missed, the Eagles have mostly relied on a combination of Jack Stoll and rookie Grant Calcaterra, with a sprinkle of Tyree Jackson. The trio hasn’t done a whole lot offensively, combining for two catches for five yards in Philly’s two games with their starter.

Eagles Expect TE Dallas Goedert, DT Jordan Davis To Return In Regular Season

The Eagles have been dealt notable blows on each side of the ball recently, but they are in line to get both tight end Dallas Goedert and defensive tackle Jordan Davis back before the postseason begins. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Eagles expect both players to be activated later in the regular season.

Goedert is dealing with a shoulder injury which was immediately understood to cost him significant time. He was placed on IR last week, guaranteeing at least a four-game absence. As a source confirmed to Schefter, however, the 27-year-old is widely believed to be on track to return with anywhere between two and four weeks left in the regular season.

That will be welcomed news for Philadelphia, of course, given Goedert’s importance to the their offense. He ranks second on the team in receiving yards with 544, making him an effective compliment in the middle of the field to blockbuster trade acquisition A.J. Brown. At the time the injury was reported, it was indicated that Goedert could be healthy before the postseason begins, so a December return would come as little surprise.

The same holds true for Davis, who has shouldered a much smaller workload during his rookie campaign but still shown plenty of potential when on the field. The first-rounder suffered an ankle sprain which will leave him on IR for at least one more week. The Eagles feel he has a “realistic chance” to be activated in time for their Week 13 game against the Titans, per Schefter. That will provide a major boost to a defensive front which has allowed 320 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in Davis’ absence during the past two weeks.

The Eagles currently have six IR activations remaining, though one of those will likely go to Janarius Robinson as he was designated to return last week. A healthy Goedert and Davis could go a long way in determining Philadelphia’s playoff positioning, given how tight the NFC East is likely to remain throughout the remainder of the season.

Dallas Goedert To Miss “Extended Time”

NOVEMBER 16: This injury will shut Goedert down for at least four weeks. The Eagles have placed the high-priced tight end on IR.

NOVEMBER 15: The Eagles will be without a key offensive weapon for the next few weeks. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that tight end Dallas Goedert will miss “extended time” with a shoulder injury.

Goedert suffered the injury during last night’s loss to the Commanders, with the tight end hurting his shoulder on a controversial no-call. Fortunately, the tight end isn’t expected to be shelved for the rest of the regular season and should get some run before the playoffs. ESPN’s Tim McManus tweets that the Eagles haven’t decided whether they’ll place Goedert on IR, so it sounds like there’s some optimism that he could be back at some point over the next four weeks.

The 27-year-old has continued to build off a career year in 2021 that saw him finish with 830 receiving yards. In nine starts this season, Goedert hauled in 43 receptions for 544 yards and three touchdowns. Pro Football Focus currently ranks him fourth at the position, although the site hasn’t been particularly fond of his blocking ability.

Goedert has played the third-most snaps at the position in 2022 (behind Cole Kmet and former teammate Zach Ertz), and the Eagles lack experienced depth behind the starter. Rookie Grant Calcaterra should get some reps at the position, although the sixth-rounder has generally played TE3 behind blocker Jack Stoll. Tyree Jackson, who is recovering from a torn ACL, has been practicing since late October and could eventually be activated.

Cardinals, TE Zach Ertz Closing In On Deal

After acquiring tight end Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles in mid-October of last year, the Cardinals are finalizing a new multi-year deal for the nine-year veteran, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The three-year deal is set to keep the 31-year-old among the top-10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. 

Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler who set the NFL-record for single-season receptions for a tight end in 2018 with 116 catches, which trailed only Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas for the league lead among all pass-catchers. Ertz was consistently productive in Philadelphia, recording five-straight seasons with at least 800 receiving yards.

After taking a back seat role to the Eagles’ younger tight end Dallas Goedert, the Cardinals made the move to acquire Ertz and watched him thrive in the new system. Ertz’s 11 games in Arizona in 2021 showed far more production than the 11 games he played in Philadelphia the year prior. With wide receivers Christian Kirk and A.J. Green set to hit the free agent market this week, locking down their tight end was a must.

The three-year deal will be worth $31.65MM with a guaranteed amount of $17.5MM. The annual average value of $10.55MM ranks 10th among NFL tight ends, just below David Njoku, Mike Gesicki, and Dalton Schultz, who got franchise tagged for $10.93MM. With this deal Ertz is now off the crowded tight end market, along with the three who were tagged. Remaining options for those looking for tight ends are C.J. Uzomah, Robert Tonyan, Evan Engram, and Will Dissly.