The Philadelphia Eagles are going REALLY light at tight end

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

While the Philadelphia Eagles have arguably the best one-two punch in the NFL at tight end with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, the decision to only keep two on the active roster is puzzling.

When the Philadelphia Eagles decided to load up in the trenches and keep 20 linemen on their initial 53 man roster, including preseason star Daeshon Hall and surprise UDFA addition Nate Herbig (more on him here), it created a cascading effect across the board.

With more good players than available roster spots, the Eagles had to hand some really good players their walking papers after a full summer of work – players like Greg Ward, Wendell Smallwood, and Treyvon Hester – but the most surprising move of all has to be the decision to waive Josh Perkins one day removed from placing Richard Rodgers on season-ending IR.

Why? Because the Eagles now only have two tight ends on their active roster.

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Granted, they have two really good tight ends, as Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert form arguably the best one-two tandem in the league, but if one of them were to go down, entire swatches of the Eagles’ playbook could become unusable in the blink of an eye.

I mean the Eagles have an entire section of plays they run out of a three tight end set that is now unusable in an in-game situation, barring, of course, a player like Matt Pryor or Andre Dillard having suddenly picked up a new skill as a supersized receiver.

And it’s not like Richardson can come back after 10 weeks and slot back in at tight end number three, as he was placed on injured reserve before the regular season began, and thus is ineligible to return in 2019 – at least as a member of the Eagles.

While Howie Roseman is typically a pretty good judge of a player’s potential, as he’s identified plenty of diamonds in the rough who transformed into legitimate contributors since he was reinstated in 2016, going light at tight end with no guarantee that they can acquire a better option on the waiver wires feels like a misstep – a minor one mind you, but a misstep none the less.

Who knows, maybe the Eagles are simply going to rotate Ertz and Goedert in and out as opposed to playing the duo together, a move that would help to mitigate a need for three active tight ends on game day, but doing so would limit Doug Pederson‘s options as a signal-caller, not optimize them.

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One good thing about the initial 53 man roster is that it’s just that, an initial 53 man roster. While the Philadelphia Eagles certainly turned some heads with their decision to keep only two tight ends, they could add one, two, or even three over the next few days and weeks, with preseason standout Alex Ellis a near lock to stick around on the practice squad.