Dr. Schwartz: Sidney Jones likely to show full potential in 2018

Dr. Schwartz: Sidney Jones likely to show full potential in 2018

Maybe Sidney Jones will play this season, maybe he won't.

But he most likely won't show his full potential until the 2018 season.

The Eagles' second-round pick tore his Achilles during his pro-day workout in March, and the team hasn't disclosed a timetable for the cornerback's return.

"We anticipate a full recovery," personnel head Howie Roseman said during the draft last weekend. "We don't know the timetable, but we believe he can be an impact player for us when we do get him on the field."

Dr. Mark Schwartz, the co-medical director at Virtua Medicine, agrees. It wouldn't be prudent to cite a specific timetable. But Jones should be an impact player. The Eagles may have to wait until 2018 for him to make his biggest impact.

"I think the prognosis for Sidney is very good," Schwartz said Monday on CSN's Philly Sports Talk. "Initially they talked about him coming in four to six months. I think that's overly optimistic, but I think it's possible to see some of his play maybe in the second half of the season.

"There's been some good NFL studies looking at these injuries. The average return to play is 11 months, plus or minus four months on either side. I think part of it depends on when they got hurt in the course of the season. 

"Another good study shows that even with the players that returned after Achilles tendon tears, it took almost the second season to see them get back to their full, pre-injury state. Even if he gets back for some portion of this season, he probably won't be fully recovered in terms of his potential of play until season No. 2."

Eagles tackle Jason Peters tore his Achilles in 2012, and at the time Schwartz said two-thirds of NFL players returned from such injuries. Now Schwartz says studies show those chances have increased to 75 percent.

"So we've come a long way in rehabilitation and recovery," he said. "But I think it may take two seasons to see the full potential. The good news is that he's only 20 years old, and he has no NFL seasons under his belt, so his chances of returning to his former self are extremely good."

As for now, just take solace in this tweet from Jones on Tuesday:

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

The Eagles have found their replacement for Torrey Smith. 

Heck, they found an upgrade. 

On Thursday, the Birds agreed to terms with veteran speedy receiver Mike Wallace on a one-year deal. The deal is worth $2.5 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. 

This signing makes a ton of sense for the Eagles, especially if they weren’t ready to hand Mack Hollins the starting spot Smith left. Hollins can now split time with Wallace. Even if the Eagles didn’t trade Smith, they weren’t going to keep him at his price tag, so adding Wallace gives the Eagles a veteran with speed at a cheaper cost. 

Wallace, 31, is coming off a season in which he caught 52 passes for 748 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and four touchdowns. For comparison, in 2017, Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards (11.9) and two touchdowns. And Smith dropped seven passes, while Wallace dropped just three, according to ProFootballFocus. In fact, Wallace's numbers weren't far off from Alshon Jeffery's stats last year (57 receptions, 789 yards, 9 touchdowns). 

While Wallace isn’t coming off his best season in 2017, he went over 1,000 yards in 2016 and has averaged 15.0 yards per reception during his nine-year NFL career. The Eagles hope he'll be the deep threat they thought they were getting in Smith. 

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Wallace is second in the league in 40-yard receptions and in 50-yard receptions. He has 43 receptions of 40-plus yards (behind DeSean Jackson's 56) and 26 receptions of 50-plus yards (behind Jackson's 36). 

If that's not recent enough for you, the Eagles had seven pass plays of 50-plus yards in 2017; Wallace had three on his own. He can still stretch the field. 

The Eagles can now start Alshon Jeffery and Wallace on the outside, which will allow them to keep Nelson Agholor in the slot, where he was great last season. Then they’ll still have Hollins and Shelton Gibson (both draft picks from 2017) off the bench. Not bad. 

Wallace will turn 32 before the season starts, so the Eagles have added another veteran player, something they’ve done plenty this season. They already added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata. It’s pretty clear the Eagles see the need to maximize their window of opportunity and getting players to join them is probably easier coming off a Super Bowl win. 

Signing veterans on one-year deals certainly worked well for the Eagles last season and if this one works out too, they will have found a good fit for the 2018 season.  

Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

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Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

The Eagles pulled off trades and signed a few free agents after the new league year began on March 14 ... and it's shortened their Super Bowl odds. 

The Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl LIII improved from 9/1 to 17/2 between Feb. 5 and March 22, according to Bovada. Despite beating them in Super Bowl LII less than two months ago, the Eagles still trail the Patriots, who stood pat at 5/1. 

Here's the full top 10: 

1. Patriots: 5/1
2. Eagles: 17/2
3. Vikings: 9/1
4. Steelers: 12/1
5. Packers: 14/1
5. Rams: 14/1
7. Saints: 18/1
8. Falcons: 20/1
9. Texans: 22/1
9. Jaguars: 22/1
9. Raiders: 22/1

As for the rest of the teams in the NFC East, the next closest to the Eagles are the Cowboys, but their inactivity this offseason gave them longer odds, going from 18/1 to 28/1. The Giants' odds stayed at 50/1, while the Redskins' odds went from 50/1 to 66/1. 

And here's a fun prop bet: The over/under for Michael Bennett sacks in 2018 is set at 8. Last season, he had 8½ with the Seahawks. Now, he's playing on a dynamic defensive line but also figures to play less because of the Eagles' rotation.