Jordan Matthews worked out for the Eagles on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex, a source close to the situation confirmed.
The Eagles are in at least a short-term bind at wide receiver, with Alshon Jeffery still "week to week," according to Doug Pederson, Mike Wallace in a walking boot after suffering a broken right fibula Sunday at Tampa, Mack Hollins on IR and DeAndre Carter released Tuesday so the team could add practice squad running back Josh Adams to the roster.
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh acknowledged the obvious – that the Adams move was insurance against Jay Ajayi being hobbled by the back injury that had him in and out of the Tampa game, Ajayi getting only seven carries Sunday, for 23 yards.
But releasing Carter, who played 53 snaps in the opener, 19 in Week 2, means that right now the Eagles would seem to have three healthy wide receivers – Nelson Agholor, Kamar Aiken and Shelton Gibson. It's a good bet they won't head into Sunday's game with just that group.
Matthews, 26, was the Eagles' second-round draft pick, 42nd overall, in 2014. He caught 225 passes for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns through three Eagles seasons, but was traded to Buffalo in August 2017 for cornerback Ronald Darby, the Eagles also sending the Bills a third-round draft pick. Injuries limited Matthews to 10 games, 25 catches and 282 yards last year in Buffalo. He signed with the Patriots as a free agent but was released after suffering a hamstring injury this summer.
Matthews checks several boxes: He knows the offense, so he could play here right away. He has good timing and chemistry with Wentz, one of his best friends. And he is much more experienced than Gibson, a 2017 fifth-round pick.
Adams, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound undrafted rookie from Notre Dame and Central Bucks South who showed strong flashes during an injury-marred preseason.
The Eagles have a couple of practice squad openings, with Adams promoted and linebacker Joe Walker signed to the Cardinals roster, Jeff McLane reported. One of those openings could go to Carter.
NBC announcer Cris Collinsworth alluded last week on a broadcast to Eagles defensive lineman Michael Bennett being unhappy with his playing time. Collinsworth's words seemed to gain credence when a FOX camera showed Bennett getting a "hurry" on Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday, then turning his palms up and seeming puzzled as he was replaced for the next play. The camera followed Bennett to the sideline, where defensive line coach Chris Wilson seemed to be reassuring him.
Bennett, 32, a three-time Pro Bowler, was traded to the Eagles from Seattle, where he played 85 percent of the defensive snaps last season. The Eagles are very proud of their defensive line rotation, in which Bennett and Chris Long work in relief of starting defensive ends Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. On Sunday, Bennett played 24 snaps, 41 percent of the total. His was the lowest snap count among the four D-ends.
When reporters tried to speak with Bennett on Tuesday, he said he was no longer doing media interviews.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz praised Bennett, while not really answering the question of how Bennett feels about his playing time.
"I think he works hard, and when he goes on the field, he plays hard, and he's been producing for us, [the play when he jumped] offsides notwithstanding. We only had [58 snaps] in this game. I mean, it would be great [if] we played 120 snaps and everybody could play 60 snaps on the defensive line, but that wouldn't be good for our defense. I think our guys are unselfish, and you have to look at the production of our group. I think we can be more productive than we were," Schwartz said.