Who will replace Zach Ertz in the Eagles offense?

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 30: Philadelphia Eagles tight end Tyree Jackson (80) catches a pass during Philadelphia Eagles training camp on July 30, 2021 at Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles said a heartbreaking goodbye last week to a player who will go down in franchise history as one of the true greats. Zach Ertz is now an Arizona Cardinal and while it will feel alien for a while, the coaching staff has little time to reflect. They face the Raiders on Sunday afternoon and have to find a viable replacement for Ertz for the remainder of the season.

It’s worth mentioning that as of right now, Dallas Goedert remains on the COVID-19/reserve list. He should be activated by Sunday, but in the event he’s not, the Eagles are going to have to two underdogs to hold down the fort for the time being.

Dallas Goedert appears to be the man that Howie Roseman will give a long-term contract to, at least, that’s what was hinted during his presser last week. But who will Goedert’s running-mate be for the remainder of 2021?

Jack Stoll

After deciding to opt-in and play the 2020 season, the carpet was ripped from under him after he picked up an injury against Ohio State in the opening game of the year. He appeared in only 3 games, catching 7 passes and averaging 12.7 yards per catch. 

What’s left on his resume is a career that isn’t statistically outstanding, but one that encourages intrigue. The 6’4, 260 lbs, TE picked up 245 yards as a sophomore and 234 yards as a junior. But in a run-heavy offense, Stoll’s real development and impact came as a blocker. Not only that, but it’s not like Nebraska were blessed with great quarterback play, further limiting his ceiling.

Signed as a rookie UDFA this offseason, there were some pretty high hopes for the Nebraska product. He ended preseason with 6 receptions for 47 yards, proving that he could make an impact at the NFL level as a pass-catcher after a fairly quiet summer.

Stoll has actually played in 27% of snaps so far this season but is yet to record a pass target. That could change in the coming weeks.

Noah Togiai

The former UDFA failed to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster last year and was poached by the Indianapolis Colts (because of course). He played in four games for Indy but didn’t record a stat. At 6’4, 244 lbs, he has intriguing size and was a prolific receiver at Oregon State. Maybe the Eagles can pick up where they left off and continue his development.

Togiai currently resides on the practice squad so the only way he’s going to see some playing time is if Goedert is unable to return from the COVID-19/reserve list right away or if either TE above him in the pecking order sustains an injury.

Tyree Jackson

Perhaps the biggest wildcard of all, Tyree Jackson stole the show this Summer down at the NovaCare Complex. Nobody saw the breakout coming, but it was a joy to watch. Every day at training camp, Jackson would be raved about by reporters in attendance as he flaunted his 6’7, 249 lbs frame.

Unfortunately, Jackson currently sits on IR. He suffered a bone fracture in his back during a training camp practice, putting an abrupt end to the hopes of that momentum carrying over into the regular season. He became a near-lock to make the roster after weeks of making athletic plays, and would now have to watch from the sidelines.

Originally, he was an undrafted QB in 2019 who caught on with the Bills after spending his collegiate career in Buffalo. He was waived after Training Camp and like Greg Ward, ventured to a different league to strut his stuff. Joining the DC Defenders of the XFL, Jackson completed 11 of 18 passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.

He began his transition to tight end less than one year ago and it’s scary to think how far he’s come already. It’s so scary in fact that Howie Roseman found it hard not to gush over the 23-year-old’s potential when discussing the future of the TE position this past week.

Then you talk about our young guys, and I think what changed a little for us was the surprise of camp, and it was just camp because we didn’t see it in the preseason games was Tyree [Jackson] and just seeing how he’s working to get back and the skills that he has in his body.

We want to make sure that we’re going into next year knowing as much as we could. If he’s going to look like he did during training camp, like, that’s going to be a player for us. But he’s got to show it in games. And this is an opportunity for him to come back and for us to see that. We don’t think that’s just a shot in the dark. We think this guy’s got some traits.

It’s not yet known when Jackson will be able to come off of IR, but he’s been a presence at practice working on the sideline according to a report from Eagle Maven’s John McMullen. The Eagles may well be close to activating his three-week practice window and if that’s the case, he’s almost destined to jump right to the front of the queue.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire