Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Matthews’ 2018 season is over

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After suffering a hamstring injury over the weekend, it looks like ex-Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews’ 2018 season is over after IR designation.

Man, it seems like Jordan Matthews just can’t catch a break after leaving the Philadelphia Eagles.

After being surprisingly traded from the team after the Eagles’ first preseason game last summer for eventual-starting cornerback Ronald Darby, Matthews’ time in the NFL hasn’t exactly gone as planned. From suffering a chest injury on his first day of training camp with the Buffalo Bills to a thumb in Week 3 to an eventual knee injury that landed him on IR on December 5th, Matthews has been hit with a bit of an unlucky streak over the last year.

And over the weekend, things sadly took a turn for the worst.

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While practicing with his new team, the New England Patriots, Matthew suffered a pretty significant hamstring injury, resulting in the team deciding to initially waive the fifth-year receiver, before ultimately settling on an injury reserve designation.

Though this may not technically end Matthews’ season, as the team could waive him with an injury settlement if he bounces back later in the season, it does effectively dash any chances of Matthews’ rehab in his career under Bill Belichick‘s watchful eye, and reestablish himself as a starting caliber wide receiver worthy of a long-term contract.

Now granted, no Eagles fan the world over is hoping for a Patriots receiver to have a breakout season regardless of their playing history, but it’s hard not to still have a soft spot for Matthews at this point in his career. As the first real Eagles pick in the 2014 NFL Draft (we can all just collectively forget about Marcus Smith at this point, right?), Matthews remains one of the lone bright spots of the Chip Kelly-era in South Philly alongside his former teammates Jordan Hicks and Lane Johnson, and even though he never developed into a true number one receiver, he gave Philly all he had while catching passes from a variety of different quarterbacks.

Over his first three seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, Matthews amassed an incredible 225 catches for 2673 yards and 19 touchdowns, the most of any Eagles receiver over that time frame. Furthermore, his big body frame and sure hands made him an ideal safety blanket for first-year quarterback Carson Wentz across the middle of the field in 2016, effectively easing his transition into the pros along with fellow slot man Zach Ertz.

But unfortunately for Matthews, it was not meant to last.

Between the day and night reinvention of Nelson Agholor as an inside slot receiver and the team’s dire need for outside cornerback help, Mathews quickly found himself expendable and was ultimately flipped along with the third round pick to the Bills for Darby.

The worst part? Apparently, the Bills weren’t even explicitly targeting Matthews.

According to reports from Les Bowen, the Bills were more interested to recoup a third-round pick in a deal for Darby and simply ask for a “starting caliber receiver” to be included in the deal after losing Sammy Watkins in another trade with the LA Rams. In hindsight, it might have been smarter to include Torrey Smith in the deal instead of Matthews, as Smith was wildly inconsistent in his lone season in Philly and was ultimately traded to the Carolina Panthers for an eventually waived Daryl Worley, but after having his season significantly shortened due to injury, it may not have mattered.

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Once one of the most promising young receivers in the NFL, with Marques Colston-like potential, Matthews’ own body has started to betray him at the tender age of 26 and may prematurely label him an injury risk for the foreseeable future. Though he may eventually bounce back and develop into a starting-caliber receiver once more, it’s truly unfortunate to watch one of Philly’s adoptive sons literally fighting for his football future against his own body.