2020 Training Camp Preview: Philadelphia Eagles

2020 Training Camp Preview: Philadelphia Eagles

This article is part of our 2020 Training Camp Preview series.

Expanding upon our team preview collection from earlier this offseason, we're gearing up for an irregular August with a series of team-specific articles to get you up to speed for training camp. You can find the previous writeup on the Philadelphia Eagles here.

State of the Franchise

The Eagles remain unsettled at a few positions. Of greatest interest to fantasy players is whether the team adds a big-name free-agent back to its stable and how that would impact Miles Sanders, who is currently expected to get even more work than he did in his rookie 2019 season, when he totaled over 1,300 yards from scrimmage. The likes of Devonta Freeman and Lamar Miller are still unsigned, and other names have been linked to the Eagles during the offseason. While none of them would supplant Sanders as the lead back, whoever potentially joins the team would eat into his touches more often than Boston Scott or Corey Clement will.

On defense, safety is the biggest question mark after Malcolm Jenkins left for New Orleans. Jalen Mills got a brief look there Week 11 last season, and the team has professed faith he can do the job despite never excelling at his original position or even staying healthy. Linebacker is less of a focus for the Philly D, but the roster lacks depth there as newcomer Jatavis Brown is both the oldest and most experienced of the current group at 26 years of age and with 22 starts, yet he isn't considered a lock to make the roster.

Job Battle

Someone needs to emerge at receiver. The Eagles rely on tight ends perhaps more than any other team, but they'll still need contributions from wideouts if they want to contend. No one at the position contributed 500 yards or five touchdowns to the offense last season. Philadelphia already faces questions with respect to Alshon Jeffery's health, as he kicked off camp on the PUP list. DeSean Jackson is no lock to stay on the field, and Marquise Goodwin decided to opt out. Both Jeffery and Jackson have 1,000-yard seasons on their resumes, but both are candidates to miss time due to their injury histories, so someone else will have to step up.

First-round pick Jalen Reagor has the pedigree and the athleticism to be that guy but will have to learn the offense and adapt to the pro game even more quickly after the pandemic inhibited that process. Fellow members of the 2020 draft class, John Hightower and Quez Watkins, are in the same boat but without the same talent or opportunity as Reagor. Perhaps 2019 second-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside can make good on his potential after dealing with a bevy of injuries that held him back as a rookie. Finally, there's former college quarterback Greg Ward, who proved himself capable as the last man standing down the stretch last year.

Medical Tent

WR Alshon Jeffery

Jeffery kicked off training camp on the PUP list as he recovers from a Lisfranc injury which required surgery last December. The question is when he'll be activated. If the 30-year-old can't make it for the season opener, he'll be forced to spend the first six weeks of the regular season on the sidelines. Even if the eight-year veteran can return before Week 1, he'll have to prove he can still contribute as the No. 1 wideout. He not only struggled with injuries in 2019, but drops, an apparent loss of speed and locker room distractions as well.

WR DeSean Jackson

Jackson missed all but three games in 2019 thanks to a core muscle injury originally suffered Week 2. In March, he deemed himself healthy and ready to go. He's entering his age-33 season and was never going to be taken for football's version of Cal Ripken, Jr. before that anyway. However, when the 12-year vet is healthy, he still has blazing speed and remains one of the best boom-or-bust plays available.

G Brandon Brooks

Brooks revealed in June that he tore his Achilles, leaving the team without their starting right guard for the season and potentially throwing the whole offense into flux. Enter – or rather, re-enter – Jason Peters, who is a likely Hall of Famer after 11 seasons at left tackle in Philly but was willing to switch to a position he had never played so he could return to the Eagles after a brief foray with free agency. The move to right guard accommodates 2019 first-round pick Andre Dillard's ascension to a starting role at left tackle.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Phillips
David Phillips is originally from Austin, Texas and has been playing fantasy sports for over twenty years. His favorite teams are all from the Dallas area, with the possible exception of the San Antonio Spurs. Feel free to hit him up with a question on Twitter: @hitbypitchratio
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