Eagles' Alshon Jeffery played with torn rotator cuff; surgery could sideline him through preseason
The star wide receiver played in every game despite the injury he suffered before the season began.
Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has undergone surgery to repair his right rotator cuff, a source said Wednesday, confirming an NFL.com report. The goal is for Jeffery to be ready for the 2018 regular season, though he could return during the preseason if all goes well, the source said.
Jeffery, 28, one of the Eagles' biggest Super Bowl LII heroes, was injured on the first weekend of training camp but played every game of the 2017 season, catching 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. He played 82 percent of the Eagles' offensive snaps.
Jeffery did not experience significant discomfort during the season or the three-game postseason, the source said. In the playoffs, Jeffery caught 12 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns, including a spectacular 34-yard score from Nick Foles in the Super Bowl.
The receiver could not be reached for comment. The team has not released information about the surgery.
Jeffery came to the Eagles last spring on a one-year free-agent contract and signed a four-year extension in December that could be worth as much as $52 million.
The news of his injury and surgery casts a different light on one of the mysteries of last year's training camp and preseason — why Jeffery practiced and played so little while getting acclimated to a new system and quarterback. Jeffery landed hard on his shoulder on July 30, was said to have a shoulder "strain" that cost him four days of practice the first week of camp, and did not play in the Aug. 10 preseason opener against Green Bay. The coaching staff indicated that Jeffery was healthy by then, that he didn't really need the work, and that they wanted to save his legs.
"It's just a matter of keeping him rested," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said on Aug. 4. "I've seen a lot from him, probably more … than what you guys have seen, and I'm comfortable with where he's at with our offense, and I'm going to make sure he's healthy going into the season."
But at one point later in camp, quarterback Carson Wentz lamented that he hadn't gotten to work more on timing with Jeffery, and when the season began, their partnership took a while to blossom. They eventually teamed up for 24 catches and four touchdowns in a five-game span, ending when Wentz went down for the season with a knee injury in Week 14.
Wentz threw his final, franchise record-setting 33rd touchdown pass of the season against the Rams, a few plays after he suffered his torn ACL and LCL. He threw it to Jeffery, who, it turns out, was playing with a torn rotator cuff.