Eagles Acquire Veteran Wide Receiver in Major Deal

Veteran Jones Strengthens Eagles' Receiving Line Amid Watkins' Absence.

by Nouman Rasool
Eagles Acquire Veteran Wide Receiver in Major Deal
© Harry How/Getty Images

As the NFL's leading team with only one loss this season, the Philadelphia Eagles are on the verge of enhancing their offensive firepower. The team confirmed that wide receiver Quez Watkins made a significant step towards his comeback by returning to Eagles practice on Wednesday, initiating his 21-day activation window.

Watkins, who has been on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury, has exceeded the minimum required time on IR, missing the last five games. His absence was felt in the Philadelphia lineup, particularly in the slot receiver position, where he has been a critical player.

Jones Enhances Receiver Trio

In response to Watkins' injury, the Eagles brought in veteran wide receiver Julio Jones, joining the already formidable duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. In his short tenure of four games with the NFC champions, Jones has participated in 82 snaps, contributing four receptions for 16 yards.

Before his injury, Watkins, a 2020 sixth-round pick, had also been struggling to find his rhythm this season, standing at four catches for 21 yards. This season is pivotal for Watkins as it marks his contract year. He needs to elevate his performance to secure a substantial deal in free agency.

Watkins has shown potential in the past, particularly during Jalen Hurts' first season as the starting quarterback. In a year dominated by a run-heavy offense, he racked up a career-best 647 receiving yards. However, following the acquisition of Brown in the 2022 draft, Watkins saw a reduction in his role, finishing the last season with 354 yards, averaging 10.7 yards per reception.

Philadelphia also has Olamide Zaccheaus, who has accumulated six receptions for 87 yards this year, as an alternative in the slot. With tight end Dallas Goedert sidelined, the team needs a reliable third wide receiver. It remains to be seen how the Eagles will integrate Watkins with the presence of Jones in the lineup.

The Eagles, boasting an impressive 8-1 record, have six IR activations remaining for the season. Notably, Goedert's status will not impact this total, as the team does not intend to place their leading tight end on IR. Watkins' return could be a game-changer for the Eagles as they continue their pursuit of excellence this season.