Philadelphia Eagles: What ever happened to Shelton Gibson?

(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

After a very promising preseason, Shelton Gibson has been the Philadelphia Eagles invisible man through the first 11 weeks of the season.

Before DeAndre Carter captured the hearts and attention of Philadelphia Eagles fans hungry for the next rags-to-riches preseason star, another largely overlooked player flashed in the summer and looked like he was in line for a noticeable uptick in production entering his sophomore season.

But here we are, 11 weeks into the 2018 NFL season and Sheldon Gibson has practically been a missing person.

While it may have been a bit over-zealous to imagine the West Virginia speedster elevator himself to a Pro Bowl-level contributor after starting out the 2017 season on the practice squad, he did record 195 yards and two touchdowns on only nine catches over the first three preseason games, and look like a markedly improved player over his rookie season.

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Just like that, Gibson went from a potential cut-down casualty to a virtual lock to make the final 53-man roster.

Gibson even mentioned a desire to model his game after traditional slot receivers like Julian Edelman in the hopes of developing a more well-rounded skill set.

And since then? Nothing.

Well, technically not nothing, as Gibson did catch a single ball for 48 yards in the Eagles’ Week 5 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, but still, that’s incredibly underwhelming production by even the most liberal standards.

Now to be fair, Gibson is fifth on the Eagles’ depth chart at wide receiver, and fifth wide receivers typically aren’t getting 10 targets a game, but after watching players like Kamar Aiken, Markus Wheaton, and even DeAndre Carter receive more balls thrown their way in 2018, it’s a real wonder why Gibson hasn’t received at least a few more targets over the last three months.

And the worst part, at least for Gibson? Any chance of his insertion into the offense appears to be even less likely after the team’s recent move to acquire Golden Tate at the 2018 trade deadline.

Is anyone going to mistake Gibson for Tate? Certainly not, as the later is one of the best wide receivers in the league at recording yards after the catch, and the other has three career catches to his name, but it’s not like either player has found much success in midnight green so far this season.

By his own admission, Mike Groh has had a tough time incorporating Tate into the Birds offensive scheme, which is absolutely mind-boggling if you ask me, so maybe it’s not all that surprising that Gibson isn’t receiving snaps on the offensive side of the ball, but with the Eagles offense starving for a deep threat to take the top off of the offense and open up the middle of the field for Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, and Zach Ertz, why hasn’t the team given Gibson a chance to log a few more snaps on the outside?

Next. Philadelphia Eagles must address elephant in the room with Groh. dark

Even if Shelton Gibson’s unfortunate case of the dropsies returns, it’s not like his addition to the Philadelphia Eagles offense could make the team any worse.