The Eagles on Tuesday activated the 21-day practice window for receiver Quez Watkins, which means the rookie could return as early as Sunday.
Watkins, 21, has been on Injured Reserve for the first three weeks of the season and, based on the new rules in 2020, is now eligible to return. Watkins is expected to be on the practice field Wednesday as the Eagles begin preparations for the 49ers.
The sixth-round pick from Southern Mississippi had a solid training camp this summer. Watkins made the initial 53-man roster, but was then put on the IR with a back injury. Because they kept him on their initial 53-man roster, Watkins remained eligible to return.
It’s important to note that just because Watkins’ practice window has been activated, it doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily be ready to play this weekend. Watkins will be able to stay on the IR for three weeks as he practices. After that window is up, the Eagles will have to decide to either activate him to their roster or put him on IR for the rest of the season.
Given the Eagles situation at receiver right now, they could certainly use another body, even if it is that of a sixth-round rookie.
Meanwhile, Alshon Jeffery (foot) also started practicing last week and is getting closer to a return. Jeffery is expected to play either this Sunday night against the 49ers or in Week 5 against the Steelers.
Right now, the only healthy receivers on the active roster are Greg Ward Jr., Deontay Burnett and John Hightower. DeSean Jackson is day to day with a hamstring injury and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, even though he played through it Sunday, has a minor lower-body injury.