The Eagles officially signed Jordan Matthews on Wednesday morning and in order to make room for him, they placed Mike Wallace on Injured Reserve.
Wallace, 32, fractured his fibula on Sunday, apparently needed surgery and his time with the Eagles could end rather unceremoniously without a catch.
If Wallace can recover quickly, though, the Eagles will have the option to bring him back later in the season. Head coach Doug Pederson on Wednesday didn’t rule out a possible return for Wallace this year.
NFL teams used to have to designate players for return when they placed them on Injured Reserve, but that’s not the case anymore. The Eagles will be allowed to bring back two players who were on the 53-man roster back from IR later this season. That means they might have some decisions to make later this season between those three players.
If Wallace gets healthy enough to return this season, the Eagles would probably be interested in bringing him back. Even after adding Jordan Matthews, they still don’t have a speed option on the outside. The earliest Wallace could come back is Week 11 vs. the Saints
Eagles WR Mike Wallace told me this am he's optimistic he can return to play after surgery on his fibula earlier, as I said on NFL Live. Wallace told me, "as long as I'm healthy, I know they'll bring me back in." Also underlined he & Jordan Matthews play different WR positions.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 19, 2018
The interesting thing here is that the clock starts from when the player is placed on IR. They can’t be activated until eight weeks have passed and they can’t start practicing until six weeks have passed. That means Hollins and Rodgers will be eligible for return before Wallace. At that time, if Hollins and Rodgers are healthy, the team will need to weigh its options and try to figure out if it’s worth waiting for Wallace.
The Eagles also have Gannon Sinclair, Toby Weathersby, Elie Bouka and Paul Worrilow on their IR, but none of them were on the 53-man roster and aren’t eligible to return.
Physically Unable to Perform
The NFI and PUP have their differences, but in this regard, they’re the same. Jernigan and Maragos are out for the first six weeks of the season. The earliest possible return is Week 7.
After six games, there’s a six-week window to either get the player back to practice or send him to IR. Once the player starts practicing, there’s another three-week window to either add the player to the roster or send him to IR.