Receivers the Eagles Could Look At Following Wallace Injury

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Staff

Earlier today, it was announced that Mike Wallace had suffered a fractured fibula in the loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb had a similar injury in 2013 that sidelined him for 10 games. The minimum recovery time for an injury like that is likely close to six weeks, although he has not been placed on the injured reserve list as of yet.

The Eagles already have Mack Hollins on IR and Alshon Jeffery has not returned from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. Of the four wide receivers that had a roster spot locked down in training camp and were expected to be huge contributors, Nelson Agholor may be the only one to play this Sunday. The Eagles may only have Nelson Agholor, DeAndre Carter, Kamar Aiker Sr. and Shelton Gibson available right now – and Gibson was already beaten up and questionable to play against the Buccaneers.

The Eagles clearly need help. In his press conference, Doug Pederson alluded to the fact that the Eagles are looking outside for wideout help and that he would prefer a veteran player. They have a younger wide receiver with some NFL experience on their practice squad in Braxton Miller , but Pederson implied that he had not had enough exposure to the offense to add him to the 53-man roster yet. One veteran player that is currently available is Josh Gordon. Gordon is being traded due to a hamstring injury, however and may not be immediately available. It is also being reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network that the Patriots may be acquiring the wideout from the Browns:

Update: The Patriots have traded a fifth round pick for Gordon. He is available for Week 3.

So where do the Eagles look? Of course, Dez Bryant remains a free agent, but there are receivers around the league that the Eagles may prefer.

Carolina Panthers – Torrey Smith

The first name that comes to mind is Torrey Smith. Smith played with the Eagles last season, so he knows the system and already has chemistry with the team. The Panthers may also be willing to part with him as he is currently their third option and is ahead of 2018 first-round pick DJ Moore, a receiver Carolina expects a lot from. Smith has four catches for 48 yards so far this season.

Indianapolis Colts – Marcus Johnson

Former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich is coaching the Indianapolis Colts this season, meaning that wide recievers there would likely have a similar type of offensive playbook to what the Eagles are looking at to help with the transition. The Eagles could go after a familiar face, however. Marcus Johnson was with the Eagles last season and was a reliable backup catching five passes for 45 yards. The Eagles would be taking a risk acquiring Johnson as he may not turn out any better than the receivers they have on the roster now, but Johnson is currently the fifth receiver on the Colts roster and has not played in either of their games this season meaning he could likely be had cheaper than many other trade options.

Miami Dolphins – DeVante Parker

It also makes sense to look at Miami given the trade history between the Eagles and Dolphins. Kenny Stills has been impressive, but would cost a fortune to pull from Miami. Devante Parker has underperformed and, even though he is listed as the top receiver on their depth chart, he sat out of yesterday’s game despite not being injured. He may be on the way out – similar to Jay Ajayi last season. Perhaps history will repeat itself and Parker could breakout with the Eagles. The issue here may be that the Dolphins picked up his fifth-year option and he would be owed over $9 million next season.

Detroit Lions – Golden Tate

Finally, there is the Lions. The Lions have looked bad. If they don’t think they can turn around their season after losing two games to the 49ers and Jets (arguably two of the four easiest games on their schedule this year), they may be willing to part with a receiver. They have Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. under contract for the next two season, but Golden Tate is in the final year of his deal. He has caught 14 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown so far this season and could provide the veteran presence that Pederson would like. If the Lions don’t think they can sign him beyond this season and cannot turn their season around. They may look to move him for some type of compensation before he hits free agency.

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