The Eagles released wide receiver Mack Hollins on Tuesday.
Hollins had played in all 12 games this season, and prominently on offense after DeSean Jackson suffered an abdomen injury in Week 2. But the third-year receiver wasn’t productive. While he caught a combined nine passes for 112 yards in the Falcons and Lions games, Hollins went the next eight games without a single catch.
During one five-game stretch in which he played about 50 percent of the offensive snaps, Hollins saw only five targets. He wasn’t the first or second option on many plays, but his lack of involvement was telling.
Doug Pederson and other Eagles coaches publicly defended Hollins, however. Receivers coach Carson Walch even went so far as to say that Hollins was grading out as well as any receiver. But actions spoke louder than words. Hollins played only 24 snaps in the Eagles’ last three games as rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside garnered more playing time.
In one of his few offensive plays in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, Hollins was flagged for an illegal block that brought back an 11-yard Nelson Agholor reception.
When the Eagles selected Hollins out of North Carolina in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, they highlighted his special-teams abilities. And he was standout on special teams as a rookie. But he also contributed on offense, catching 16 of 22 targets for 226 yards. His lone touchdown that season -- a 64-yarder -- displayed his field-stretching speed.
But Hollins suffered a career setback the following offseason when a groin injury required two core muscle surgeries -- the second just after the 2018 season started. He would go on to miss the entire season, and when he returned the following spring, his lack of explosiveness was evident to the naked eye.
The Eagles promoted guard Sua Opeta from the practice squad to take Hollins’ spot on the 53-man roster. Another team had interest in poaching the undrafted rookie, which prompted to Eagles to call him up.
They also signed defensive tackle Kevin Wilkins to the practice squad Tuesday.