DeAndre Carter

After being waived by Eagles, DeAndre Carter claimed by Houston Texans

usa_deandre_carter_eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

After being waived by Eagles, DeAndre Carter claimed by Houston Texans

If the Eagles were planning on bringing DeAndre Carter back to their practice squad, they won’t be able to now. 

Because of his status in the league, Carter was subject to waivers and the Houston Texans have claimed the 25-year-old receiver/return man. 

Carter had never been on an NFL 53-man roster before this season and now he was valuable enough that a different team wanted to claim him. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it means he won’t be back right now. 

The Eagles waived Carter on Tuesday, which signaled that Darren Sproles is set to return. Doug Pederson said on Wednesday that he expects Sproles to play Sunday, which means the Eagles no longer needed Carter as a punt returner. And after signing Golden Tate, they were carrying six receivers instead of five. 

During his time with the Eagles this season, Carter caught two passes for 21 yards, but became the team’s primary punt and kick returner. He averaged 20.4 yards per kick return and 10.3 yards per punt return. 

As the Texans claimed Carter, they released return man Tyler Ervin, who had been averaging just 8.3 yards per punt return. It seems like the Texans think they found an upgrade. 

Earlier in the season when the Eagles waived Carter, he cleared waivers and was then added to their practice squad. That won’t happen this time, but he’ll be able to get some playing time with a different NFL team, one that has won six straight games. 

The Eagles host the Texans in Week 16 at the Linc.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles waive DeAndre Carter, possibly signaling a long-awaited return

usa_deandre_carter_eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles waive DeAndre Carter, possibly signaling a long-awaited return

The Eagles on Tuesday waived wide receiver/return man DeAndre Carter, who has been the team’s punt and kick returner for much of the 2018 season. 

This might be a signal that veteran Darren Sproles really is close to returning or that Golden Tate is set to return punts this weekend. 

Filling Carter’s spot on the 53-man roster is defensive tackle T.Y. McGill, whom the Eagles actually claimed in October but waived shortly after because he failed his physical. Apparently, McGill is now healthy. Tim Jernigan has been cleared to practice while still on the NFI, but this move clearly seems to indicate he won’t be ready to play this Sunday. 

Carter, 25, made the Eagles’ initial 53-man roster, then spent nine days on the practice squad before he was called back up in late September. At that time, he became the Eagles’ top punt and kick returner. 

While Carter had just two catches for 21 yards this season, he has returned 10 punts for 103 yards and 10 kicks for 204 yards. 

Carter’s main role with the Eagles was as a return man, so this move either means Sproles is ready to take back his job or maybe newcomer Tate might be up for some returning. Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp had made it clear that whenever Sproles returns, the punt returner job is his. 

Without Carter on the roster, the Eagles are now carrying five receivers: Tate, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews and Shelton Gibson. 

Carter is subject to waivers, but the Eagles already brought him back to the practice squad once this season after cutting him. It would make sense if they did it again for the journeyman receiver who finally fulfilled a promise to his once-dying brother when he made the Eagles’ roster (see story).

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles are right to want Darren Sproles back as punt returner

usa-darren-sproles.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles are right to want Darren Sproles back as punt returner

DeAndre Carter has performed well as a punt returner, but that job still belongs to Darren Sproles. 

That’s the right call. 

Eagles special teams coordinator Dave Fipp on Monday was asked about the punt returner role and if Sproles will assume that job upon his return from a hamstring injury or if Carter will keep it. 

The answer was pretty clear:  

DeAndre has done a great job. We’ll worry about that problem when we get there, hopefully sooner than later. That being said, obviously, hard to replace Darren Sproles. He’s an outstanding player, so we look forward to getting him back. He’ll step right back in back there when he comes back.

I tweeted this Monday afternoon; a few fans seemed upset, and I get it. Carter has performed very well as a punt returner and he’s a guy who’s just easy to root for. He’s a hard worker who made it with the Eagles after getting cut six times and when he did so, fulfilled a promise he made to his dying brother. 

If you’re able to root against DeAndre Carter, you might not have a soul. 

But the difference between Carter and Sproles as punt returners is that one has had success in two games and the other is one of the greatest punt return men in NFL history. And I’m not ready to toss aside one of the best to ever do it for a kid who has just shown flashes. 

Think about it this way: Carter has returned seven punts so far this year for 89 yards, an average of 12.71 yards per return, which ranks seventh in the NFL. 

But Sproles during his five years in Philly has averaged 12.4 yards per return. Now, all you math wizards are going to tell me that’s less than Carter, but that’s sustained success over a five-year span. Much more impressive. 

In fact, since Sproles joined the Eagles in 2014, his average of 12.4 yards per return is third in the NFL among players with at least 25 punt returns and in 2016, he averaged 13.2 yards per carry. 

Now, I know the next thing. Sproles is cooked. He’s 35, coming off a hamstring injury and has nothing left. You might be right. Or maybe he’ll take an expanded role on offense and leave the punt returns to Carter. But I’m not ready to write off Darren Sproles just yet. 

I want to see if he has any punt return magic left. If he doesn’t, no problem. The Eagles will have Carter waiting and ready to go.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles