Eagles head coach Doug Pederson should have resolved this on Tuesday when he was asked if receiver Nelson Agholor would be activated for Sunday’s game at the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pederson should have said, "I haven’t decided if Agholor will return to the starting lineup, but he will play and we will throw him the football."
That is the only strategy that makes sense at this time.
The Eagles made their point to Agholor about his mental block while playing against Seattle two weeks ago.
They deactivated him for Monday night’s game with the Green Bay Packers. Everyone knew this was an embarrassing healthy scratch.
There is nothing positive left to be gained by sitting Agholor for a second straight game.
By being benched against the Packers, Agholor was publicly humiliated but, more importantly, served notice that his career with the Eagles and possibly in the NFL is in jeopardy if he doesn’t get it together immediately.
This isn’t a strained hamstring that can improve with another week’s rest. This is about the mental wiring of a wide receiver who has trouble catching a football.
If the message already delivered to Agholor wasn’t enough to light a competitive fire, then he is already too far lost to ever salvage.
“The fact that I didn't get to play that day was an eye opener,” Agholor said on Wednesday. “You have to make sure you always have fun every opportunity you do have to play."
The time for words from and words about Agholor is over. The only thing that matters now is what he can do, if anything, on the field for the Eagles.
We won’t find out anything about that if he is standing on the sidelines wearing street clothes and a knit cap. It’s not as if receivers who replaced Agholor stepped up in big ways against the Packers.
With the Eagles' playoff chances all but mathematically over, the last five games of the season are going to be primarily about player evaluation. Which Eagle needs to be evaluated more than Agholor, the 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft who has thus far woefully underachieved?

The Eagles have a promising rookie quarterback in Carson Wentz and a not-so-promising corps of receivers. Eagles management has to know that position must be a primary area of attention this offseason. It needs a complete understanding of what it does and does not have going into 2017.

In just his second season, is Agholor still an enigma or a verified washout?
Agholor will never be under more pressure and scrutiny than he will be in the final five games of this season.
That’s good for the Eagles.
Perhaps it was smart not to have played him at Lincoln Financial Field, where every miscue would have been multiplied by a frustrated fan base ready to pounce and blame somebody for the Eagles' recent foundering -- but no more, not even the three at the Linc against Washington, the New York Giants and Dallas.
The Eagles keep saying this isn’t about Agholor’s physical talent. They keep saying they’ve seen him make big plays, so they have confidence he can do it.
So let’s see how mentally tough Agholor is. Sometimes, that is the difference between great,  good or out of the league.
At the end of these five games, the Eagles have to know if they have a player who has the mental capacity to overcome adversity and live up to his first-round status.
Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Graham, whom the Birds traded up for in the first round, worked through similar lack-of-production issues early in his career to become a valuable contributor.
The Eagles need to find out if Agholor is going to be like Graham or if he is going to be like first-round, washed-out offensive lineman Danny Watkins.
The only way to find out is to put Agholor back into the games, throw him the damn ball, and see if he still keeps dropping it.​