A New Set Of Challenges Is Rapidly Developing For The Eagles
As most of us continue to revel in the afterglow of the Eagles’ first Super Bowl victory (I tingle every time I write that), relentlessly watching full-game replays and eagerly throwing all of our money towards championship gear, the NFL calendar moves forward and the turbulence of a new season draws near.
As we let linger that triumph and still marvel at the Eagles’ remarkable ability to overcome perceived limitations and outside doubt caused by a litany of what could have been catastrophic injuries to key players, soon the angst prompted by an entirely new set of obstacles and challenges will set in. And make no mistake—those obstacles and challenges are piling up—and fast.
We learned yesterday that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery underwent surgery to repair a fully torn rotator cuff, an injury that he somehow productively played through in 2017. Looking back at it, that’s pretty bad ass. Looking forward, it’s a concern. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Jeffery, who hauled in 12 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns in the postseason, will be sidelined for at least six months:
I'm told #Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery is "out at least 6 months" after surgery to repair a "full tear" in his rotator cuff today, per source. Source added, it is "very likely" A.J. misses preseason & "unsure" about the regular season "but the expectations are to be ready for WK1." https://t.co/rHLVRokbdd
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 21, 2018
The news comes on the heels of a NovaCare orthopedic surgeon telling 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi during an interview earlier this week that a Week 1 return for Carson Wentz is “very, very optimistic” and that he could need a knee brace for the remainder of his career. Sure, it’s worth noting that this doctor didn’t treat Wentz and that every patient is different, but, at the very least, the conversation was a bit chilling.
For those of you scoring the offseason, the Eagles lost both their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while the status of the franchise quarterback and No.1 receiver are both up in the air heading into September. Not ideal. In any other year, the sky would be falling, but that sense of panic doesn’t seem to exist–at least not yet, anyway. Is it because winning a Super Bowl buys trust from the fans and quells anxiety, or is it because we’re still hungover?
Maybe we just have reason to believe. To be sure, the Eagles have proven that they’re well-equipped to handle adversity. Last year’s success speaks for itself. Doug Pederson is still the head coach and Nick Foles exists (at least for now) as a first-rate insurance policy to run an offense that doesn’t rely on one or two players to operate. Still, every year in the NFL is different and each one presents new anxieties, concerns and obstacles. The Eagles are less than three weeks out from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and they’re already finding that out.