49ers

Eagles will be missing key receiving threats against 49ers

49ers

The Philadelphia Eagles are off to a terrible 0-2-1 start to the season. They'll attempt to earn their first win Sunday against the 49ers at Levi's Stadium, and might have to do so without several of their top pass-catchers.

The Eagles already were without their first-round draft pick, Jalen Reagor, because of injury, and fellow receiver Alshon Jeffrey has yet to play in a game this season. That left them with DeSean Jackson, Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside as their top three receivers for their Week 3 tie against the Cincinnati Bengals, but both Jackson and Arcega-Whiteside ended up being limited by injuries, and their status for the game against San Francisco is up in the air.

Jackson sustained a mid-game hamstring injury and did not return. Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Monday that both Jackson and Arcega-Whiteside are "day to day." However, given the nature of hamstring injuries, it certainly wouldn't be surprising if Philly took the cautious approach and held Jackson out of Sunday's game. At the very least, you have to assume he won't be 100 percent.

Of course, the Eagles' top receiving threat isn't a receiver. In fact, neither is their No. 2.

The 49ers might have the top tight end duo in the league in George Kittle and Jordan Reed (when healthy), but Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert aren't far behind. Ertz leads the Eagles with 15 receptions for 130 yards, and Goedert has 13 for 138.

 

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Unfortunately for the Eagles, though, Goedert sustained an apparent ankle injury in Week 3 and, according to Pederson, is "gonna miss some time." It's safe to say Goedert won't be out there against the 49ers.

If Jackson is held out Sunday and Jeffrey doesn't make his debut, it could be a long day for quarterback Carson Wentz and Philly's offense. Outside of Ertz and Ward -- and running backs Miles Sanders and Boston Scott -- the Eagles won't have a single active pass-catcher with more than three receptions on the season.

Wentz has struggled enough as it is thus far, and with such limited options for the Eagles, the 49ers conceivably could funnel extra attention to Ertz and force the QB to look for other less-threatening options behind what is a banged-up offensive line. Starting left tackle Andre Dillard is out for the season with a biceps injury, and Jason Peters -- who has been starting in Dillard's place -- went down late in Week 3. However, Pederson expects Peters to be "fine."

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Given all of their own injuries, the 49ers certainly won't feel bad for the Eagles.

San Francisco just proved itself capable of winning without numerous key contributors. Now Philly will have to do the same.