How does Alshon Jeffery fit with the Eagles receivers?
It will have been 342 days since Alshon Jeffery last played in an NFL game. When he returns on Sunday to face the New York Giants, it will be against the same team he suffered his Lisfranc injury against in 2019.
Since Alshon’s injury, the Eagles receiving core is almost completely different. Jalen Reagor and Travis Fulgham now lead the charge and look to be one of the best young duos in the NFL. Being 30 years old and coming off a severe injury a major question lingers, how does Alshon fit into the current wide receiving core for the Philadelphia Eagles?
Through 10 games in 2019, Jeffery had 490 yards and 4 touchdowns. To compare, Travis Fulgham has just as many touchdowns and only 55 yards less through 5 games. Jalen Reagor stats are much lower due to only appearing in 3 games, but has 14 yards per reception to Alshon’s 11.4 in 2019.
There doesn’t seem to be any intention nor should there be of Alshon becoming the top target for Philadelphia when he returns but there is definitely a role for him. Fulgham and Reagor might be better for this year but Alshon can be a very good third option and will likely replace Greg Ward in the slot.
Alshon has been known as a short to mid route runner who specializes in possession receptions. With Reagor being the deep threat and Fulgham having the ability to do anything, Jeffery will likely be a short yardage wideout. Someone Carson goes to when the secondary adjusts for the other two or if he needs only a few yards.
Coming off a major injury lasting almost a year and being on the wrong side of 30 could spell disaster for Jeffery. Alshon is making $11.5 million this year and $13 million in 2021. Philadelphia will definitely want to move from that contract this offseason so that could effect his number of targets.
Alshon may not live up to his contract the next two years but he can provide a vital role as a depth wideout behind Reagor, Fulgham, and Dallas Geodert for the Eagles as they continue their push for the NFC East title.
Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Phelps AP Photo