Confusing decision to put Alshon Jeffery on IR has cost the Eagles dearly

NFL: OCT 27 Eagles at Bills
ORCHARD PARK, NY – OCTOBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) walks out to the field prior to the National Football League game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Buffalo Bills on October 27, 2019, at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Alshon Jeffery and the Eagles have had a turbulent relationship ever since his brilliant 2017 campaign. Playing the entire year with a torn rotator cuff, Jeffery helped bring a Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia before the wheels started to fall off. But as much as Alshon has arguably failed the Eagles, the team are now returning the favor.

Alshon Jeffery received a what?

The chaos really picked last year. In early September, the team randomly guaranteed his 2020 salary. This was never really given an explanation until much later, when it was revealed that the move was made as a precaution, should the team need to make a trade at the deadline.

This ultimately never happened. Instead, the Alshonymous saga took on a life of its own in October…but the less said about that, the better. Interestingly, a report 7 months later from Jimmy Kempski cited that the team actually tried to move on from Jeffery, shopping him around after re-working his contract. This made very little sense after guaranteeing his 2020 salary, making it a much greater gamble for an interested team.

Then, the ultimate nail in the coffin.

2019 was a mess

Alshon Jeffery experienced a dismal 2019. His season would end 10 games into the campaign, with the veteran sustaining a Lisfranc injury that would put him on IR after a confusing, frustrating, and underwhelming season both on and off the field.

It was assumed the Eagles would cut him with a post-june 1st designation. That didn’t happen. Doug Pederson stated that the 30-year-old will be an ‘important part of the offense’, and Howie Roseman doubled down on his progress.

I’m sorry, what?

Alshon Jeffery missed the entire offseason due to rehabbing his injury, which was widely expected. Jalen Mills suffered a similar injury in October 2018 and took 12 months until he saw the field again.

There was a random sense of optimism that Jeffery would return in September, but it came from anonymous sources, ironically enough. The Eagles had a decision to make. Do they put him on PUP, meaning he’s inactive for six weeks and won’t cost them a roster spot, or hope he returns sooner, place him on IR, and have to cut a player who will, you know, actually play?

Predictably, roster mismanagement continued and Alshon was placed on IR. We’re now at week 6 and he’s yet to see the field, with Pederson reluctant to declare him ready to go for this weekend’s home game against Baltimore.

The debate over where he fits into the offense with a fully healthy WR corps could rage on for months, but the debate of IR vs PUP is a short one.

It took approximately (1) game for the injury bug to set in. Help was craved at cornerback, linebacker, and especially the offensive line. Howie Roseman cut both Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, keeping Alshon Jeffery instead, who sat on the sidelines playing Candy Crush.

What happens next is anyone’s guess, but there’s no denying this was an ill-sighted decision that cost the team depth in areas of need. It was a risk that didn’t have to be taken and one that shouldn’t have been taken – as was releasing Cre’Von LeBlanc in the hopes he wasn’t poached by another team.

Of all the weeks for the Howie Roseman whirlwind to pick up, it had to be on one where this kind of decision reflects awfully. Buckle up, Eagles fans…it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire