Mike Wallace Ramps Up Rehab

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles have been missing a deep threat all season long. Mike Wallace was supposed to provide that, but after he registering no catches in the first game of the season, the Eagles and Wallace visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On the fourth play of the second drive, Wallace made what would have been his first catch with the Birds for eight yards. It was instead called back by an illegal block by Jason Peters and Wallace suffered a fractured fibula.

With Wallace on IR, Shelton Gibson was supposed to be the guy who could stretch the field. The problem is that Gibson has played only 64 offensive snaps (8%) and has made only one reception. While the catch was a beauty for 48 yards, one catch across 10 games is not going to keep opposing defenses honest.

That could change soon. On Wednesday, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Wallace was running again and could return to the team this season.

Eagles Offensive Coordinator Mike Groh met with the media on October 15 and said the following:

” Mike [Wallace] is progressing and [hopefully] we’ll get a chance to get him back this season.”

The season is coming to an end, but Wallace may still be able to get time in.

In the 2016 offseason, the NFL approved a rules change that allows teams to have two players rather than one return from IR each season. The Eagles have plenty more than that land on IR this season. One of those two designations was given to Richard Rodgers while the second remains to be used.

Mike Wallace and fellow wide out Mack Hollins are the only two players with injuries that would allow them to return this season. Groh’s comments and the fact that nothing has been shared about the injury that has kept Hollins sidelined point to the Eagles expecting Wallace to be back.

The Eagles would need to create room for Wallace and that will be a tough decision for the Eagles. They currently have Alshon Jeffery, Golden Tate, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews and Shelton Gibson on the roster at receiver. It can be assumed that Jeffery, Tate and Agholor are safe, but Jordan Matthews has made quite a few big plays and has proven to be a very good mid-season signing for the Birds. At the same time, Gibson was a fifth-round pick just last season; would the Eagles be willing to give up on him already?

The Eagles may look to release someone else on the roster instead. Perhaps they release a cornerback. If Mills and Maddox return and the other corners remain healthy, the Eagles would be carrying seven healthy corners on their roster and could look to move one back onto the practice squad.

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