The Patriots on Wednesday placed former All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon on Injured Reserve with a knee injury, but it doesn’t seem like his season is over.
It just seems like his time in New England is finished.
Check out this report from NFL Network:
Josh Gordon believes he’s close to returning to play, source says. So his IR designation today means he’s likely done with the #Patriots but could be available for teams as a free agent soon. Very interesting.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 23, 2019
According to NFL Network, the expectation is that Gordon will be waived off Patriots IR once he’s healthy. Even though Gordon is a vested veteran, he would need to pass through waivers starting after the trade deadline next Tuesday. The Eagles could put in a claim or hope he passes through.
So the simple question is this: Should the Eagles be interested?
The simple answer: yes.
I’m not sure exactly when Gordon will be ready to return, but if the Eagles are still in the playoff hunt when that moment arrives, they should absolutely be interested.
Now, there are even more layers to this situation and we all understand the personal battles Gordon has been going through for years with substance abuse. Because of that, no team is likely to make any sort of long-term commitment to him. But Gordon has done a good job of proving himself in New England and rewarding the Patriots’ faith in him, as this Boston Globe story shows. There would be concerns with bringing Gordon in, but it’s not like he’s been a bad influence on the locker room like other troubled players.
Maybe because of Gordon’s long battle with substance abuse, the Eagles couldn’t rely on him … but they haven’t been able to rely on their receivers all season anyway.
What has arguably been the Eagles’ biggest problem on offense is a lack of explosion since DeSean Jackson got hurt in Week 2. Jackson, by the way, doesn’t appear to be trending toward a return this week. Who knows when he will return and Doug Pederson has already said Jackson probably won’t be 100 percent the rest of the 2019 season.
As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank wrote earlier today, without Jackson, the Eagles’ wideouts are averaging just 10.5 yards per catch, the worst average in the league. Gordon is explosive.
Since Gordon entered the league in 2012, there’s just one player with at least 100 receptions who has a higher yards-per-reception average:
DeSean Jackson: 17.20
Josh Gordon: 17.14
And in 17 games with the Patriots dating back to last season, Gordon, 28, had 60 catches for 1,007 yards (16.8) and four touchdowns. He can still play.
The beauty of signing Gordon instead of trading for a wideout is obvious. The Eagles wouldn’t have to give up draft picks. That would be huge because prices have been high. The Patriots had to give up a second-round pick to get Mohamed Sanu and the 49ers had to give up third- and a fourth-round picks to get Emmanuel Sanders and a fifth.
For an Eagles team that really lacks young talent, giving up premier draft picks for a rental player isn’t ideal. This would be a way around that. The problem is that the trade deadline is Tuesday, so they might not know about Gordon’s health until after it has passed.
Still, Howie Roseman is never shy about kicking tires. With this news, he should be kicking away.
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