Eagles

Eagles reach out to Torrey Smith to gauge his interest in unretiring

Eagles reach out to Torrey Smith to gauge his interest in unretiring

With a clear need for receivers, the Eagles recently reached out to Torrey Smith to gauge his interest level in possibly ending his retirement, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reported.

Smith said no thanks.

Smith is 30 now and officially announced his retirement in September. He was cut by the Panthers on Sept. 1 and decided that was enough for him. He walked away from the NFL with two Super Bowl rings.

I can’t blame the Eagles for trying to at least see if Smith would be interested. At least he has speed, which is what they’re really lacking now that DeSean Jackson is on IR. But trying to lure a 30-year-old out of retirement does have a hint of desperation.

Make no mistake about it, the Eagles should be somewhat desperate. Their receivers have struggled to produce without Jackson over the last month and a half and now we know his season is likely over.

The Eagles also worked out Jordan Matthews on Tuesday.

Even before Jackson went on IR, Doug Pederson on Monday admitted the Eagles were looking to possibly add a receiver.

“At this point it’s something we'll take a look at,” Pederson said. “We have to take a look at it, obviously. It's real. We're sort of at the halfway point, a little over a game over the halfway point of our season and we have time this week to make these decisions.

“We'll take a look at it, but nothing right now.”

It seems like they’ll be doing something soon. With Jackson on IR and after waiving Andrew Sendejo, the Eagles have two open roster spots on their bye week.

The Eagles traded Smith to the Panthers in March of 2018 for Daryl Worley, but also to get his salary off their books. In 11 games with the Panthers last season, Smith played in 11 games and had 17 catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

In his one season with the Eagles, Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns. His last game with the Eagles was Super Bowl LII, when he caught five passes for 49 yards. In that postseason, he had 13 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game.

Those memories will have to be enough.

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Doug Pederson hoping to mix new face Jay Ajayi into Eagles' running attack

Doug Pederson hoping to mix new face Jay Ajayi into Eagles' running attack

Doug Pederson said he hopes to get recently re-acquired running back Jay Ajayi more involved in the offense as the Eagles head into the stretch run.

Ajayi has eight carries for 25 yards and a 3.1 average in two games since returning to the Eagles following a year layoff. 

A Pro Bowler in 2016 with the Dolphins and a stud down the stretch during the Super Bowl season, Ajayi suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 last year and didn’t play from Oct. 7, 2018, until Nov. 24, 2019, when he made his 2019 debut against the Seahawks.

Ajayi didn't have OTAs or a training camp and didn't even practice until the Wednesday before the Seattle game. 

It's a process with him, but we understand who he is and the injury that he's coming off of, so we're careful with that,” Pederson said. “But at the same time, he's a bigger, powerful guy that we can use in spots.

With Jordan Howard missing the last three games with nerve damage in his shoulder, rookie Miles Sanders has essentially been the entire running attack. But the Eagles are so hesitant to increase his workload significantly that it’s created a situation in which the Eagles just haven’t run the ball very much during their three-game losing streak because they haven’t had a viable second option.

During these last three games, Sanders has 40 carries, Ajayi eight and Boston Scott seven.

This is the first time the Eagles have leaned this heavily on one back in a three-game stretch since 2012. 

During a late-season three-game stretch in which LeSean McCoy was hurt, Bryce Brown got 52 carries and Dion Lewis had four.

The Eagles ran 45 percent of the time in the nine games Howard played and 31 percent since he got hurt. They’re 0-3 without him.

Miles has done a great job,” Pederson said Saturday. “I’d love to get Jay a few more touches and get Boston in the mix so we're not obviously wearing Miles down here this last month of the season.

The current stretch is the first in franchise history that the Eagles have thrown at least 40 times and run the ball 23 or fewer times in three straight games.

Howard hasn’t played since before the bye week and is out for the Eagles’ game Monday night against the Giants. 

Pederson said earlier in the week he doesn’t expect this to be a season-ending injury, but will Howard be able to pick up where he left off after such a long layoff even if he does return?

The Eagles began the season with Howard, Sanders, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles in what looked to be a deep running back rotation. 

Sanders is the only one of that group left. Can Ajayi make a difference after such a long layoff? Sounds like Pederson wants to find out.

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Eagles Injury Update: Latest on Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard

Eagles Injury Update: Latest on Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard

Derek Barnett and Nelson Agholor will likely be game-time decisions for Monday Night Football, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said on Saturday morning. 

Barnett (ankle) and Agholor (knee) both missed all three days of practice this week. 

Meanwhile, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He was just placed in protocol on Thursday, so he’s going to miss the Giants game. 

And Jordan Howard (shoulder) has still not been cleared for contact; he can’t play until he is and that’s not happening before Monday. So he’s going to miss his fourth straight game. 

Lane Johnson also missed practice on Friday and Saturday for a non-injury reason but is expected to play on Monday. 

If Agholor is unable to play, the Eagles would be left with just three healthy receivers on the roster: Alshon Jeffery, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. 

“We’re very comfortable, obviously, with the guys we have,” Pederson said. “So if it’s three, it’s three. We brought up [Josh Perkins] a week ago to help us there, so it’s an addition there. We go and we go play. We’ll discuss those over the next couple of days leading up to the game. If we have to make a decision we will. We feel good with the guys we have in that receiver role.” 

If the Eagles do decide to make a roster move, they have three wide receivers on their practice squad: Robert Davis, Marcus Green and Marken Michel. 

While Agholor had his knee injury before last week’s game, Barnett got hurt during the loss in Miami, but was still able to play through the injury and play 50 snaps. Barnett has played the third-most defensive snaps on the team this year, so losing him for this game wouldn’t be insignificant. 

If Barnett can’t play, expect Josh Sweat and Vinny Curry to get more reps. After that, Genard Avery, Daeshon Hall and even Shareef Miller could see a few snaps. 

For the Giants: 

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