As the Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) prepare to play the Detroit Lions (1-1) on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, they could be without their top two starting wide receivers when they take the field.
On Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons, the Eagles saw both Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson get bit by the injury bug. This meant that quarterback Carson Wentz had to depend on receivers Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Agholor led the team in receiving with eight receptions (10 targets) for 107 yards and a touchdown. Hollins racked up five receptions (eight targets) for 50 yards, while Arcega-Whiteside had a catch (four targets) for four yards.
Therefore, one could make the case that two of those wide receivers had a solid outing without Jeffery and Jackson available. However, can those guys duplicate these performances or play better over the next two games?
The answer to that question is a wait and see. As things currently stand, Jackson is reportedly expected to be sidelined for about two weeks with an abdominal strain. Jeffery, however, is reportedly dealing with a calf strain and his status for the team’s next two games are in doubt.
That being said, the Eagles could be in some serious trouble if another one of their wide receivers goes down.
Therefore, Philadelphia’s front office should probably explore the free-agent market for some extra insurance. Here are three wide receivers that can help Philadelphia in a pinch over the next couple of weeks.
When the Eagles lost Mike Wallace in Week 2 to a fractured fibula last season and were without Jeffery — who was still rehabbing from his shoulder injury — they signed former second-round pick Jordan Matthews for the rest of the 2018 campaign.
In 14 games with the Eagles (three games started), Matthews had 20 receptions for 300 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team in yards per reception (15.0) and posted a career-high in catch percentage (71.4).
In addition to his regular-season production, Matthews had a 37-yard touchdown reception in the NFC Divisional playoffs against the New Orleans Saints.
The 26-year-old wideout proved last season that he could stay healthy, which has been a bugaboo to start his career.
Matthews eventually signed a cheap one-year deal in free agency with the San Francisco 49ers but was released after the preseason. If the Eagles are looking for a familiar face who knows the offense, then Matthews is their guy.
Another wide receiver who the Eagles should consider is Terrelle Pryor. The former quarterback turned wideout has been hit with the injury bug over the last couple of seasons but could be a viable option in spot duty.
The 29-year-old Pryor was released from injured reserve earlier this month from the Jacksonville Jaguars with an injury settlement. Before his quick stint with the Jaguars, the 6-foot-4 wideout spent some time with the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets last season.
In 2016, Pryor had a career-year with the Cleveland Browns, where he had 77 receptions (140 targets) for 1007 yards and four touchdowns. However, the former Ohio State standout could not parlay his breakout performance into a long-term deal that next offseason.
Ultimately, he signed a one-year, six million deal with the Washington Redskins. With Washington, Pryor could not capitalize off of his 2016 campaign thanks to an ankle injury. In 11 games played with the Redskins, he had 20 receptions (37 targets) for 240 yards and a touchdown.
Pryor would give the Eagles a big red zone target, who can occasionally stretch the field.
Remember when the Eagles worked out former first-round pick Corey Coleman, who has been considered a bust by most accounts?
It caught many people by surprise, but the team needed some help at the position.
The Eagles are not in this same position this time around, but there’s nothing wrong with them working out former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Laquon Treadwell.
Treadwell had a lot of buzz surrounding him in the 2016 NFL Draft coming out of Ole Miss. However, he could never translate that buzz and hype into NFL-level production.
The 6-foot-2 wideout was cut at the end of the preseason and has worked out for the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions this month. Surprisingly, last season was considered Treadwell’s best year as a pro.
The former Ole Miss standout had 35 receptions (53 targets) for 302 yards and a touchdown. Within the Eagles’ offense, Treadwell would be another red-zone target for Wentz.
Honorable mentions: Dez Bryant, Bruce Ellington, Justin Hunter, Marken Michel, Greg Ward Jr. (Practice Squad), Mike Wallace