PHILADELPHIA – Depleted at the wide receiver, the Eagles turned to a familiar face for help, signing Jordan Matthews on Wednesday as they were restarting Mike Wallace on the injured reserve.
Matthews, a second choice of the Eagles in 2014, played in Philadelphia for three years, scoring 75 holds, 891 yards and six touchdowns per season. He was transferred to the Buffalo Bills before the start of last season along with a third choice for cornerback Ronald Darby. Impacted by injury, Matthews rebounded from Buffalo to New England and was released by the Patriots with an injured deal in August.
The Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday that Matthews completely recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered with the Patriots.
Pederson said that Matthews has a nice appearance on Tuesday's training and is "ready to go". He said the Eagles will try to put it "in the mix" this Sunday against the Colts.
Pederson said that Matthews is familiar with the Eagles' offense, factored in the team's interest for him. He also praised Matthews for helping to build culture with the team.
"He was a great team leader, in the locker room, on the field, his work ethic, it was all part of the process to establish what we have today, and he is bringing it back," he said. "He feels it when he is in the building and he sees it, I think he has improved even more since he is here, he only helps us, once again, to further improve it".
Eagles have a serious need for depth at the moment, with only three healthy receivers on their entire list of 53 men. Wallace suffered a fracture of the fibula against the buccaneers of Tampa Bay in the second week and underwent surgery Tuesday. Alshon Jeffery is still being repaired by offseason rotator cuff surgery; Pederson recently described him as "from week to week". Mack Hollins is in the wounded reserve with an injury to the groin.
Pederson did not rule out Wallace for the season and said that the Eagles will have a better idea if they could be able to return after passing the week with week 9.
This allowed Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson and Kamar Aiken to keep the fort.
Mainly a slot receiver, Matthews is not a perfect fit. One of the reasons the last offseason was played was because the Eagles wanted to move Agholor to the interior, and thrived as a team receiver. But Agholor has the experience and ability to play outside, and Matthews should be able to jump into the fray rather quickly given his familiarity with the Pederson system.
Matthews was assessed in the locker room during his first stint with the Eagles and is a close friend of quarterback Carson Wentz, who will return from a knee injury to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.