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Eagles make big move with veteran WR

Admin By Admin Nov24,2023

The NFL’s only one-loss team is moving closer to having its full wideout corps back at work. Quez Watkins returned to Eagles practice Wednesday, opening his 21-day activation window, per a team announcement.

Placed on IR after suffering a hamstring injury, Watkins has been sidelined for longer than the IR-minimum requirement. The Philadelphia slot receiver has missed the past five games.

During Watkins’ absence, the Eagles added Julio Jones to their A.J. Brown– and DeVonta Smith-fronted wideout crew. Playing 82 snaps during his four-game run with the defending NFC champions, Jones has four receptions for 16 yards. Prior to Watkins’ injury, the fourth-year receiver was struggling to make an impact as well. Watkins will eventually come off IR with a four-catch, 21-yard stat line.

This is a contract year for Watkins, a 2020 sixth-round pick, and he will need to produce more to command a notable deal in free agency. Watkins did deliver more impressive work in the past. During Jalen Hurts‘ first season — one that became a run-leaning operation as Shane Steichen took over play-calling — Watkins posted a career-high 647 receiving yards. Once the Eagles traded for Brown during the 2022 draft, Watkins’ role took a hit. He finished last season with 354 yards — at just 10.7 per reception.

The Eagles also have Olamide Zaccheaus as a slot option; the ex-Falcon has just six receptions for 87 yards this year. With Dallas Goedert out, the Eagles could certainly use a viable third wideout. And it is worth wondering how frequently the team will use Watkins now that Jones is on the roster. The 8-1 team has six IR activations remaining this season. Goedert would not count toward this total, as the team is not planning to place its top tight end on IR.

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