Packers Should be Game Planning with Jeffery, Goedert in Mind
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Not only is Alshon Jeffery expected to play on Thursday night in Green Bay, the Eagles' WR1 is going to be a significant part of the game plan.
Jeffery left the Week 2 game in Atlanta after a handful of snaps with a calf injury and subsequently missed last Sunday's game against Detroit. He was wearing a sleeve on his left calf for Tuesday's walkthrough practice and was estimated as a full participant.
"I expect him to play,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said at his Wednesday morning press briefing. “Obviously with limited full-speed practice reps, he took part in everything this week. He feels good, so I’d expect him to go. It gives our offense a lift from the standpoint of a veteran player, a guy that Carson [Wentz] knows, understands, and he’s a good player.”
The Eagles other injured receiver, DeSean Jackson, is expected to miss the game with an abdomen issue, meaning Jeffery and Mack Hollins are likely to be the main outside options for Wentz with Nelson Agholor handling the majority of slot duties. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who has been dealing with a bit of a heel problem, is expected to play and backup Jeffery.
Without Jeffery and Jackson against Detroit, the Eagles suffered a case of the dropsies. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Philadelphia's drop rate of 19.4 percent against the Lions was tied for the fourth-highest rate since the company started tracking such information in 2006.
Tight end Dallas Goedert, who played sparingly against Detroit after being cleared as a game-time decision with his own calf issue, is also a full go this week and both Jeffery and Goedert are not limited in the game plan, per Pederson.
“Dallas was more of a game-time decision last week and we had already kind of put the game plan together, so kind of went in thinking Dallas wasn’t going to be available, so it was a little limited in his respect, but this week’s different,” Pederson explained. “Alshon kind of went in this week hoping, kind of anticipating him playing more in this game, so we went in with a full game plan with that in mind.”
As expected linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill will be back after missing the first three games of the season with an MCL sprain suffered in training camp.
“He brings a lot of energy to the defense,” Pederson said of KGH. “He’s a very energetic and excitable guy, and of course his leadership there and what he’s done and did through the offseason, through training camp and obviously special teams.
Finally tunning back Corey Clement could return after missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury suffered while returning a kickoff in Atlanta.
“Corey’s getting better,” Pederson assessed. “... I’m hoping he’s able and ready to go in this football game. It’d be a lift to not only the offense but the special teams as well.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen