It has been a forgettable start of the season for second-year receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, but the Eagles say they’re not ready to give up on him yet.
The 2019 second-rounder out of Stanford missed the 49ers game with a calf injury. Despite a couple big plays from John Hightower and Travis Fulgham, JJAW will apparently still have a role in the offense when he returns.
“J.J. is still a part of what we’re doing,” Doug Pederson said on Wednesday morning. “In fact, he’ll be out there today, he’ll practice today and looking forward to getting him back in the offense and working with the guys.
“It’ll be day by day with him but optimistic he’ll be ready for Sunday.”
Arcega-Whiteside, 23, suffered a calf injury during pregame warmups against the Bengals and played just 18 snaps in that game despite a need for receivers.
After an awful rookie season in which he caught just 10 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown, it was hard to imagine his second season going any worse … but here we are.
In three games this season, Arcega-Whiteside has played 62 snaps and doesn’t have a catch. Against the Rams, he was targeted twice; one resulted in a drop, the other an interception.
Arcega-Whiteside was supposed to get a chance to redeem himself in the Bengals game, but he got hurt during pregame warmups, was limited, and then missed the following game with the injury.
The reason this hurts so much is because the Eagles have been desperate for receivers. Alshon Jeffery still hasn’t returned from his Lisfranc injury, DeSean Jackson is dealing with a hamstring injury and Jalen Reagor is on IR after surgery to repair the UCL in his left thumb.
If only the Eagles had a second-round receiver who could actually contribute. And the thing is, Arcega-Whiteside actually looked like he could play in training camp. But once the games began, he vanished again.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens if JJAW is available for Sunday’s game. Will he play or will the Eagles put a fifth-round pick and a practice squad call-up on the field ahead of him?
The Eagles say they haven’t given up on him yet, but JJAW's career certainly hasn’t gone to plan.