The days of the Eagles' offense prominently featuring mysterious players plucked off practice squads could be coming to an end soon.
For the last three weeks, quarterback Carson Wentz has been at the center of a group devastated by injuries, rapidly getting players with little experience in the Eagles' scheme up to speed for game days. But there’s some good news for Wentz. Help is on the way.
Wide receiver Jalen Reagor, tight end Dallas Goedert, and left tackle Jason Peters all returned to practice Wednesday. Each player is on injured reserve, meaning the team doesn’t have to designate whether they were full or limited participants. But both Reagor and Goedert took part in the position drills open to the media.
“It’s definitely exciting. They’re big pieces of our offense," Wentz said Wednesday. “Reagor, we saw what he could do early in the season and the explosiveness he brings. Obviously, we know what Dallas can do, both in the blocking game but also run after catch, and getting open. He’s one of the top tight ends in the league.”
Coach Doug Pederson said all three players are “day-to-day." It’s unclear whether they’ll be ready for Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Reagor has missed five games with a torn thumb ligament, and Goedert has been sidelined for four games with a fractured ankle.
Wentz actually emerged from an early-season slump once Reagor, Goedert, and several other starters went down with injury. In the Eagles' last four games, Wentz has led two game-winning drives and thrown seven touchdown passes to just four interceptions.
Still, Reagor flashed his potential as a deep threat early in the season, catching a 55-yard pass in his NFL debut against Washington and catching four passes for 44 yards against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2.
According to Next Gen Stats, the 20.27 mph Reagor reached on his 55-yard reception was the second-fastest speed reached by an Eagles ballcarrier this year, behind Miles Sanders' 20.29 mph against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6.
“We see the explosiveness that he brings and how he can change a game in a heartbeat,” Wentz said. “We saw it early in the Washington game, on the third-and-long play. That’s just the type of guy he is, and we’re excited to hopefully get him back this week, but if not, hopefully soon.”
Once Reagor returns, the Eagles will have a complementary group of wideouts. Greg Ward is having a productive season in the slot, while Travis Fulgham has emerged as a No. 1 possession receiver with a bigger frame and a playing style more focused on route-running than straight-line speed.
Goedert also had a strong showing in the season opener against Washington, catching eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. When Zach Ertz returns from his own ankle injury, the Eagles will have a greater ability to utilize the two-tight-end sets they’ve grown so fond of.
“Just knowing that we’re getting some of those guys back ... whether it’s this week or going forward, I think it definitely energizes the offense,” Wentz said. "Because of what we’ve been able to do, and how we’ve been in a lot of these ballgames, and we just keep adding some pieces back. We’re as confident as ever.”