Philadelphia Eagles: Placing Rodgers on IR opens a world of possibilities

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

With Richard Rodgers headed to IR, the Philadelphia Eagles have one more roster spot to fill and a whole new world of possibilities to explore.

In case you didn’t notice, the Philadelphia Eagles have already announced their first round of cuts of the summer, but in a weird twist of fate, the most intriguing move isn’t actually a cut at all.

No, along with the decision to waive players like Alex Singleton, Donnel Pumphrey, and Cody Kessler, the Eagles also announced that they have placed reserve tight end Richard Rodgers on injured reserve, effectively ending his season for the second straight year – except this time he isn’t eligible to return after Week 10.

Now to some, this move is nothing but a footnote, but in actuality, it couldn’t be more interesting to a team’s final roster construction.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

Why? Easy, there’s one more roster spot up for grabs.

While Rodgers spent the first 10 weeks on the 2018 season on IR, the Eagles clearly saw enough promise in the fifth-year Cal Golden Bear to re-sign him to a second one-year contract, presumably to compete for the team’s third tight end position yet again in 2019.

Though Rodgers did look like a player who’d missed half of the previous season at times during the summer, he gave last season’s third-stringer Josh Perkins a legitimate challenge for the team’s third tight end spot and may have forced Philly to keep four going into Week 1.

By placing Rodgers on IR now, Perkins is now all but guaranteed a spot on the 53-man roster.

But that’s not all.

With Rodgers out, could the Eagles opt to still keep four tight ends? If so, look to Alex Ellis as the next man up.

While Ellis may not be as tenured as his biggest competition, ex-New York Giant/Jet Will Tye, he has consistently flashed over the preseason, including an encouraging catch in each of the team’s final two preseason games.

Regardless of how many games he would be active in 2019, Ellis it kind of player teams like that occupy the bottom of their roster, as he could get better and better with each season.

Alternatively, the Eagles could use Rogers presumed spot to keep another more deserving offense player at a different position, like Greg Ward, or Wendell Smallwood (more on them here and here). In what once looked like an either-or situation, dedicating the fourth tight end position to a running back, wide receiver, or even offensive lineman like recent Army signee Brett Toth could prove to be a better allocation of resources, and retain more talent in the NovaCare Center.

As Philly fans saw in 2017, the Eagles are more than willing to keep a surplus at any given position if they feel the depth can all contribute, as Philly kept five running backs into Week 1 and Corey Clement, who started out the year at the bottom of the depth chart, end up becoming a hometown hero in Super Bowl 52.

The same could also be said for a player like DaeShon Hall, the unquestioned star of the preseason.

While Hall has just as much pedigree as Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller, the two players who he’s most directly competing with for a roster spot, he wasn’t technically drafted by the team and may fall victim to a numbers game despite his merit. If Howie Roseman is solely committed to keeping the best players around, he may opt to give a player like Hall Rogers’ roster spot, as he may very well finish out the year as the team’s third-best defensive end.

Greg Ward Jr. left it all on the field. dark. Next

So you see, while placing Richard Rodgers on the injured reserve may seem like a fairly uneventful move, it actually opens up a vast variety of options for the Philadelphia Eagles the bottom of their depth chart – and as we saw two seasons ago, depth can be the difference between a Super Bowl victory and a premature playoff bow out