After Alshon Jeffery signed a one-year deal with the Eagles in March, fans were excited, and deservedly so. After being forced to watch that receiving corps last season, signing the best free agent receiver available certainly was something to celebrate. Of course, this came moments after the Eagles signed Torrey Smith, another receiver that looks to improve Carson Wentz’s passing game, as well.
But Jeffery is missing his fourth practice in a row, and that has some fans a little concerned. Me? Not so much. In fact, 23,000+ fans saw Jeffery practicing during the Eagles’ open practice at The Linc last Sunday, and there were no signs anything was wrong after he injured the shoulder during practice on Saturday.
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According to Bleeding Green Nation, the Eagles are taking a cautious approach with Jeffery even though his shoulder injury has been described as “minor.” In addition to that report, I was told if the season started this weekend, Jeffery would be playing.
Of course, there’s no reason to push Jeffery to practice right now. He’s gotten to know Wentz and this offense already. Of course, yes, it would be nice to see the team’s best wide receiver out there, but let’s think long-term instead of short-term. If there’s any chance Jeffery could aggravate the injury in any way before it’s 100% – and it’s only August 4th – then it’s best to just keep him out and doing some stretches and exercises on the side, which he has been doing.
As for holding Jeffery out, Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich hinted that they’ve kind of seen what they needed to see from Jeffery. “I think it was more precautionary,” Reich said on Thursday. “I just think Alshon came in and has shown us what he can do right away. [He] just got a little ding here or there. [It’s] just precautionary, and then get him ready to go pretty soon.”
The Eagles’ first preseason game is next Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers, and if Jeffery doesn’t suit up, I still won’t be worried. If he doesn’t suit up for the third preseason game … then maybe there’s something to worry about.
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