What Will Eagles WR Rotation Look Like with Jalen Reagor Out
The Eagles will be without rookie first-round pick Jalen Reagor and veteran Alshon Jeffery is still at the very least a week away from returning to the field.
So now what?
With Reagor out, and Jeffery not ready this week, the Eagles are down to DeSean Jackson, Greg Ward, rookie John Hightower and J.J. Arcega-Whitesite in Week 3. There is also a strong possibility to Deontay Burnett getting activated for game day, so with these players available what will the wide receiver rotation look like on Sunday?
You would most likely see Jackson play the Z position on the outside with Ward getting most of the snaps in the slot. On the outside X position, normally occupied by Reagor, expect to see a combination of Arcega-Whiteside, Burnett and Hightower, who was benched last week and played only seven snaps in Week 2.
Of that group of three, expect the Eagles to try ans ee what they have from Arcega-Whiteside, who they drafted in the second-round last year and have gotten very little production from since being drafted.
"I've always been confident in J.J," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. "What I like about J.J. is he's a player that we can use in multiple positions. He knows outside. He knows inside. Smart guy, and someone that we're going to have to lean on a little bit here in these next couple of games."
The Eagles are facing a Bengals defense that through two weeks has given up just 213 yards per game against the pass, but are one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to stopping the run, giving up 185 yards per game and will be without Geno Atkins.
The Eagles already run the most 12 personnel in the NFL, using it about 80% of the time when they have the ball. 12 personnel is when a team uses two tight ends on the field at the same time, in the Eagles case Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, so you can expect to see more of that trend on Sunday
"We are comfortable in 12 personnel," explained Head coach Doug Pederson. "We feel like we have some matchup advantages with our tight ends in situations like that."
"There are some things we can do to get a little bit more production out of that personnel group. It helps you to maybe maximize the protection a little bit to allow the ball to go down the field."
"So there are some opportunities there that we can take a look at."
The final four weeks of the season last year, the Eagles went almost exclusively 12 personnel, and it worked. It also gives the Eagles a good chance to use more of Miles Sanders this week against a banged up Bengals defense.
It all only works if Wentz plays better than he has the first two weeks of the season, where he has completed only 58.8% of his passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions.