Philadelphia Eagles: After monster game, why is Jordan Matthews still 80?

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

Don’t look now Philadelphia Eagles fans, but Jordan Matthews is officially back after a monster game. But why hasn’t he switched back to his old number?

In only his second game back with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jordan Matthews has reintroduced himself in the best way possible: with an electrifying 56-yard touchdown catch from his best friend Carson Wentz.

And he did so as an outside receiver no less, who saw that one coming?

After spending the first two weeks of the season without a team, Matthews’ return to Philly has been one of the early feel-good stories of the 2018 NFL season, but while it’s certainly nice to see Jordan back in midnight green, one thing is certainly different: his jersey number.

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Initially doning TO‘s old 81 for the entirety of his original tenure in the City of Brotherly Love, Matthews is now the owner of number 80, a fact that I’m sure has confused plenty of fans watching at home (me).

But why?

Well, the answer appears to be two-fold.

The most obvious answer as to why Matthews isn’t wearing 81 is because the number is already taken by once starter Kamar Aiken. Though it certainly was a surprise that the team opted to resign the former Raven after releasing him in the final preseason trim down to 53 following a disastrous Week 1 receiving performance, the seventh year vet from UCF has remained a stalwart of the offense, even after failing to catch a pass in last week.

Now granted, had Matthews simply asked for his number back, I’m sure Kamar would have obliged, as no one owns a number 81 Aiken Sr. jersey, but it would appear that Matthews may not have even wanted to be number 81 in the first place.

According to Zach Berman, Matthews initially wanted the number 80 when he arrived in Philly back in 2014 to honor his second cousin Jerry Rice, one of the most famous number 80s of all time, but it was already taken at the time.

Though it’s certainly odd to see Matthews wearing number 80, he already looks like a completely different player in his new digs. Once considered a slow, possession receiver with bad hands, Mattews has caught every pass thrown his way thus far as an Eagle, finishing out his first six quarters with three catches for 77 yards an a touchdown as an electrifying playmaker on the outside.

Next. Trace McSorley is a perfect Mayfield-esque project. dark

In his first road game back with the Philadelphia Eagles, playing mere miles away from his alma mater Vanderbilt, Jordan Matthews looks like a brand new player, and it’s fitting he has a new number to accommodate this evolution. Howie, give this man a new contract, number 80 looks like a keeper.