Eagles

Eagles snap counts: Jordan Matthews leads all skill players

Eagles snap counts: Jordan Matthews leads all skill players

Updated: 4:30 p.m.

Three weeks ago, Jordan Matthews wasn’t in the NFL. 

On Sunday against the Seahawks, he played 73 snaps (96 percent) to lead all Eagles’ skill position players. He had just 3 catches on 6 targets for 27 yards. 

In his first two games back with the Eagles, Matthews has played 137 snaps (that leads all skill players). In those two games, Matthews has 4 caches on 12 targets for 33 yards. Not great. 

It’s really just a sign of how bad things have gotten for the Eagles at the receiver position.

Late Monday afternoon, Matthews was cut.

The Eagles were without Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and Nelson Agholor (knee) on Sunday and DeSean Jackson is on IR. So the top three options are gone. 

While Matthews played 73 snaps on Sunday, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside played 54, Greg Ward played 37 and Mack Hollins played 4. 

The Eagles finally sat Hollins, who hasn’t had a catch since September, but playing Matthews more than the second-round rookie or even Ward, who was more productive on Sunday, is somewhat puzzling. There aren’t any good options, though, I suppose. 

Arcega-Whiteside had two catches for 43 yards, while Ward had six for 40 after never having an NFL catch before Sunday. 

More offensive notes 

• Andre Dillard played 36 snaps in the first half at right tackle before getting benched. Halapoulivaati Vaitai took over at right tackle after moving from right guard and played a total of 65 snaps. 

• Brandon Brooks played just 12 snaps before leaving the game for anxiety reasons. 

• Matt Pryor was out there for the first 43 offensive plays of his career. He played right guard after Big V slid to right tackle. 

• Without Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders led the way for the running backs with 64 snaps, followed by Jay Ajayi (9) and Boston Scott (3). Sanders had 63 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving. Ajayi got a handoff on 6 of his 9 attempts. 

Offense

Isaac Seumalo: 76 snaps (100%) 
Carson Wentz: 76 (100%) 
Jason Peters: 76 (100%) 
Jason Kelce: 76 (100%) 
Jordan Matthews: 73 (96%) 
Dallas Goedert: 66 (87%) 
Zach Ertz: 66 (87%) 
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 65 (86%) 
Miles Sanders: 64 (84%) 
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: 54 (71%) 
Matt Pryor: 43 (57%) 
Greg Ward: 37 (49%) 
Andre Dillard: 36 (47%) 
Brandon Brooks: 12 (16%) 
Jay Ajayi: 9 (12%) 
Mack Hollins: 4 (5%) 
Boston Scott: 3 (4%)

Defensive notes 

• Nigel Bradham returned after missing four games and played all 65 defensive snaps. He led the team with nine tackles. Nate Gerry played 35 snaps and Kamu Grugier-Hill played 22. Grugier-Hill had a great game against the Patriots and then saw his snaps drop significantly with the return of Bradham. 

• Genard Avery played just two snaps and has just 15 in three games. He’s under contract for two more seasons after this year, but the Eagles gave up a fourth-round pick to get him and he’s played well in limited time. Maybe they need to figure out how to get him on the field more. 

• Marcus Epps played 17 defensive snaps as the deep safety in the dime package. Rudy Ford had that role for one game before being placed on IR Saturday. 

• Malcolm Jenkins played all 65 defensive snaps. He’s 721/721 on the season after not missing a single play all last season. 

Defense 

Malcolm Jenkins: 65 (100%) 
Nigel Bradham: 65 (100%) 
Rodney McLeod: 64 (98%) 
Jalen Mills: 62 (95%) 
Ronald Darby: 61 (94%) 
Derek Barnett: 53 (82%) 
Brandon Graham: 51 (78%) 
Fletcher Cox: 49 (75%) 
Avonte Maddox: 45 (69%) 
Nathan Gerry: 35 (54%) 
Tim Jernigan: 33 (51%) 
Anthony Rush: 25 (38%) 
Vinny Curry: 23 (35%)  
Kamu Grugier-Hill: 22 (34%) 
Josh Sweat: 20 (31%)  
Marcus Epps: 17 (26%) 
Albert Huggins: 15 (23%) 
Rasul Douglas: 6 (9%) 
T.J. Edwards: 2 (3%) 
Genard Avery: 2 (3%) 

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Eagle Eye podcast: The biggest news from the combine

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Eagle Eye podcast: The biggest news from the combine

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank is joined by Dave Zangaro from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to go over the biggest storylines of the day. 

Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Tuesday about a wide range of topics. 

Will Jason Peters return? Have the Eagles changed their free agent philosophy? And what will the coaching staff really look like in 2020? 

• One more year of Jason Peters? 
• Eagles might change free agency approach
• More details about the coaching structure
• The rise of Press Taylor 
• What will Rich Scangarello do?  
• Breaking down Duce Staley’s role in the organization 

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Eagles leave open possibility that Jason Peters returns in 2020

Eagles leave open possibility that Jason Peters returns in 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Jason Peters is 38 years old, will become a free agent in less than a month and the Eagles already drafted his replacement in the first round a little less than a year ago.

This seems pretty simple, right?

Yet, as Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Tuesday at the NFL’s Scouting Combine, neither man was ready to say the team is moving on.

“I think as it pertains to all of our free agents, it’s important that we keep an open mind with everyone and try to figure out as we get more information,” Roseman said.

“A big part of this week is accumulating information. That’s what we do here. Obviously, when you’re talking about Jason Peters, you’re talking about a Hall of Fame player, a Hall of Fame person, someone that’s very special to us and played at a really high level last year. We’ll go through all those decisions this week.”

Pederson gave less of a politician answer.

“Heck yeah,” Pederson said when asked if he wants Peters back next season.

So that leads us to this: Is there really a chance the Eagles would re-sign a 38-year-old left tackle instead of playing a first-round pick they traded up to get less than a year ago?

It seems crazy.

Coming into Tuesday, I thought there was a chance Roseman would get to the podium and use the forum as a chance to make a statement about Peters. I thought, maybe, he would get up there and tell us all that the Eagles were planning to let Peters hit the free agent market, thank him for his time and give a vote of confidence to Andre Dillard as the left tackle of the future.

That didn’t happen.

In fact, Roseman and Pederson actually invited more speculation and I walked away thinking there’s actually a chance they try to bring back Peters for next season, even though it sounds pretty crazy.

Maybe they just haven’t talked to Peters yet. That’s possible. In a case like this, if the Eagles want to move on, they wouldn’t want to do anything to disrespect a guy who has been here a decade and will likely end up in Canton. Even Roseman admitted that it’s important to treat guys of this magnitude a little differently.

“There’s no question,” Roseman said. “When you talk about guys who are historic players in the National Football League, guys who are going into the Hall of Fame, guys who are going into the Eagles Hall of Fame, those guys are special people and special players and you don’t have a lot of those during the course of your career.

“So you try to make decisions first that are best for the football team and at the same time have respect and appreciation for what guys have done and what guys have done going forward and have been a part of your organization for a long time.”

Peters played the 2019 season on a renegotiated one-year deal that he signed in March. And while Peters didn’t play at an All Pro level last year, he was still pretty good.

But throughout last season, it seemed like the Eagles were going to let Peters play and groom Dillard. And, sure, Dillard struggled at right tackle in his one start at the position, but acquitted himself quite well at left tackle when Peters missed a three-game stretch.

On Tuesday, I asked Pederson about the possibility that bringing back Peters could stunt Dillard’s long-term development. I mean, what would it say about a first-round rookie if the Eagles didn’t start him in Year 2 and instead re-signed a 38-year old to play in front of him?

“Andre is the guy we selected,” Pederson said. “He was our top pick a year ago. We feel like he has a bright future. Again, this is where that fine line comes in. We have to have some difficult conversations, not only for us internally but with the players.”

Pederson said his feelings about wanting Peters back are similar to the way he felt about Darren Sproles. Well, the Eagles brought Sproles back in 2018 and 2019 and he got hurt both seasons. It seems like a cautionary tale.

And unlike Sproles, who was a rotational player, if Peters returns, he’ll be the starting left tackle.

“It is that simple when it comes down to it,” Pederson said. “It’s either JP or it’s Andre and those are decisions we have to make.”

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