Eagles activate Nakobe Dean, place Quez Watkins on IR in surprising Saturday moves

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles WR Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball in the first half during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles on September 19, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Talk about a sentence with a lot to unpack. The Philadelphia Eagles were busy on Saturday afternoon, placing Quez Watkins on IR and activating Nakobe Dean in a corresponding roster move.

Nakobe Dean’s return on the horizon?

The Eagles recently activated Nakobe Dean’s 21-day practice window and it hasn’t taken him long to get up to speed. The second-year linebacker was a full participant in Friday’s practice and while it might be a bit too soon to expect an appearance this Sunday, it certainly looks as though the MIKE linebacker will be causing havoc much sooner than we thought.

Nicholas Morrow has performed amicably in place of Dean, flashing some explosive pass-rushing ability one week and then leaving a lot of Meat on the Bone in the next. We haven’t really seen enough of Nakobe Dean to evaluate his ability as a starter, but we all know how high the upside his, and the Eagles have certainly missed his presence.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 02: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) enters the field during training camp on August 2, 2022 at the Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

Eagles place Quez Watkins on IR

In a corresponding move, the Eagles placed WR Quez Watkins on IR. The speedster is in his final contracted year and has been battling a hamstring injury for some time.

Olamide Zaccheaus has stepped up in his absence and combined for over 60 yards in the last 3 weeks in a limited role. When Watkins did make his brief return to the offense last week, he recorded just 2 receptions for 3 yards, including a huge missed opportunity on a 3rd & 2.

The writing might well be on the wall for the former sixth-round Draft pick. Zaccheaus has a prime opportunity to cement his role in the offense and if he continues to shine (or at the very least, be serviceable), it’s hard to imagine the Eagles being willing to pay him if this injury keeps him out for a quarter of the season.

The Philadelphia Eagles will lock horns with the New York Jets on Sunday. Make sure to stay locked in to Philly Sports Network for all the latest Eagles news.

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball against Washington Commanders safety Bobby McCain (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire