Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins, who experienced what head coach Doug Pederson said was a “minor setback” in his recovery from hernia surgery, was placed on injured reserve Thursday, 4 1/2 hours before the team opened its season against the Falcons.
Hollins, the promising second-year receiver and special teams stud, said Monday he was healthy and planned on playing Thursday night.
But now, he’s out for at least eight weeks and possibly the season with an unknown injury.
Hollins had hernia surgery in February after the Super Bowl. Head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday that this injury is unrelated to the surgery.
Pederson said later that day that Hollins had suffered “a minor setback” and was out for the opener and would be evaluated after the game.
But apparently, the injury is much more serious than originally thought.
Under new NFL rules governing injured reserve, teams are allowed to bring back two players per season from IR after eight weeks. There is no longer an IR with a designation to return.
So, in theory, the Eagles could have Hollins back for Week 9, but considering that he’s not a starter, it doesn’t seem likely they would use one of their two allowances to return on him.
The Eagles re-signed veteran receiver Markus Wheaton on Tuesday, and he’s expected to be active Thursday night for the Falcons. But Wheaton only has 102 receiving yards over the past two seasons.
With Alshon Jeffery out for at least the opener and Hollins now on IR, the Eagles have 2017 breakout star Nelson Agholor, veteran Mike Wallace, second-year pro Shelton Gibson and training camp star DeAndre Carter at wideout in addition to Wheaton.
Hollins caught 16 passes for 226 yards and one 64-yard touchdown against the Redskins last year. But he only had six receptions for 38 yards over the last 11 games of the season, including the playoffs.
Hollins was fifth on the roster with 232 special teams snaps last year, making him one of five players on the team to play more than half the Eagles’ special teams reps.
The others were Kamu Grugier-Hill, Trey Burton, Najee Goode and Corey Clement. Grugier-Hill and Clement are the only ones left.