Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Wallace’s return is too little, too late

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

While Mike Wallace certainly has game-breaking speed, his return may be too little, too late for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17 after a 14-week absence.

After struggling to field an even average offense for the vast majority of the 2018 NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the league down the stretch, and in a Christmas miracle, the rich have somehow gotten even richer.

That’s right, after watching Nick Foles revitalize Doug Pederson‘s offense into a force to be reckoned with, the offense will receive yet another boost with the addition of Mike Wallace, the team’s free agent deep threat who suffered a fractured fibula back in Week 2.

But don’t expect Wallace to serve as a magic pill for the Eagles, as he may not even play in the team’s regular-season finale in Landover, Maryland.

When asked about his role in Week 17, Wallace went so far as to tell Dave Zangaro from NBC Sports Philadelphia:

"“I don’t know. I just got activated 20 minutes ago. I just take it day-to-day, see how I feel, just get back out there, get into a flow of things. I’m not sure. I feel like I can run, but it’s different when you get on a football field actually against other players.”"

It’s a good thing Wallace is keeping his expectations low because it seems all but impossible to imagine the 10th year wide receiver passing the century mark after a 14 week absence from the field.

Granted, Wallace should at the very least be a Rhodes scholar in relation to the Birds’ playbook, as he’s been afforded four months to do nothing but study in preparation for his eventual return, but he also spent the vast majority of that time unable to take live snaps for the Eagles’ stable of quarterbacks.

When a player’s entire game is predicated on timing, those snaps matter a lot.

Furthermore, it’s not like Wallace even had all that great of a report with Nick Foles when the two shared the field back in September.

Over the two games they played together, in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons, and in Week 2 against DeSean Jackson and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wallace was targeted precisely two times in 73 offensive snaps, catching zero balls, for zero yards and zero touchdowns. While it’s almost unfathomable to imagine this trend continuing over an entire season, it’s clear Wallace and Foles hardly share the same relationship as Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz.

Factor in a loaded stable of wide receivers highlighted by Alshon Jeffery, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, and Golden Tate, who combined for 12 of the team’s 35 catches, and it just seems unlikely that Wallace will receive more than a handful of snaps against the Washington Redskins, maybe fewer.

No, Wallace’s addition could really come into effect in the postseason, should Kirk Cousins pull a, well Kirk Cousins and drop a must-win game against the Chicago Bears on the Minnesota Vikings‘ home turf.

Next. By waiving D.J. Swearinger, Washington has given up. dark

Much like Torrey Smith last season, having a speedy wide receiver, even an ineffective one stretching the field can help to open up the middle of the field and give a point guard-esque passer like Nick Foles an opportunity to pick apart the Redskins’ D.J. Swearinger-less secondary with ease, even if Wallace doesn’t haul in a single pass.