Philadelphia Eagles: Opportunity continues to elude Genard Avery

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

After a lightning-fast start to his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, Genard Avery’s playing time remains woefully sporadic.

In Week 9, Genard Avery had one of the most statistically proficient performances of any player in Philadelphia Eagles history.

Donning the midnight green for the first time in his career after being acquired from the Cleveland Browns for a 2021 fourth-round pick, Avery picked up two combined tackles, a quarterback hit, and half a sack in only three defensive snaps.

Extrapolate those numbers out over a full game and Avery would have recorded upwards of 10 sacks and 20 tackles, all the while making Mitch Trubisky‘s life even worse every time he dropped back to pass – that’s how statistics work, right?

More from Philadelphia Eagles

All jokes aside, Avery’s ability to weave through traffic while moonlighting as a standup interior rush linebacker was incredibly encouraging, and gave Jim Schwartz‘s defense a new wrinkle they haven’t had (probably) since Mychal Kendricks called South Philly home.

But after such an electric start to his time in Philly, why hasn’t Avery been more thoroughly incorporated into the Eagles’ defensive game plan?

With two more weeks to learn the playbook and a chance for the coaching staff to get a more hands-on look at the 6-foot, 250-pound defensive end’s skill set up close, one would think Schwartz and company would be eager to get Avery involved early and often when the team returned to the field in Week 11 against New England.

That happened, but only kind of.

Avery did see a 33 percent increase in snaps from Week 9 to Week 11, but that accounted for all of seven more snaps. While Avery was able to get work at his natural defensive end position, which is always nice, he didn’t pick up a single defensive statistic for his efforts against Tom Brady and those dastardly Patriots.

Granted, it’s not like anyone on the Eagles’ defensive line did much against the Patriots’ woeful offensive line, in large part because of Bill Belichick‘s on-point playcalling, but I digress.

Through the first 10 games of the regular season, the Eagles have predominantly used Josh Sweat and Vinny Curry as their top two reserve ends. While Curry does moonlight at tackle for a significant segment of his snaps, the duo have amassed 3.0 sacks and 26 tackles combined on 401 snaps.

401. That’s one sack every 133.6 snaps.


Next. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 11 run-pass ratio was a mess. dark

On paper, Genard Avery is arguably the most talented of the three and can provide positional versatility rushing from the wide-nine defensive end position, or as a standup linebacker. Clearly Howie Roseman valued that skill set enough to surrender a not-insignificant fourth-round pick for two and a half years of the 24-year old’s contract – but if they don’t use him, what’s even the point?