Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Matthews’ comeback tour has to wait

Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

In the NFL, eight years is a very long time. With an average player’s career length of 3.3 years, according to Statista, and a pension that doesn’t kick in until they turn 55, many players try to hold on for as long as they can before moving on to the greener pastures of retirement.

One of those players trying their darndest to hold on is none other than Jordan Matthews, the cousin of Jerry Rice who played the best years of his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Since being traded away to the Buffalo Bills with a 2018 third-round pick in exchange for Ronald Darby mere months before the Birds won the big one, Matthews has bounced around the NFL looking for a new home, playing for the New England Patriots, the San Francisco 49ers, the Eagles, again, and the Niners, again, where he attempted the rare, JJ Arcega-Whiteside-style transition from big, blocking receiver to move tight end.

Has it worked? Eh, not really; Matthews spent much of the 2021 NFL season on the Niners’ practice squad and only played four special teams snaps during his lone taste of on-field action, but hey, after putting on some serious muscle mass to facilitate the tradition, the pride of Vanderbilt wasn’t going to magically become Darren Waller overnight.

Unfortunately for Matthews, his comeback tour is going to have to wait until at least 2023, as he suffered a non-contact ACL tear in camp with the Niners that has landed him on season-ending IR before the preseason could even open up – ending his season once and for all.

That’s right, because Matthews was placed on IR before the start of the regular season, he can’t be activated off the list this season and will have to either agree to an injury settlement to leave the 49ers – which, considering Matthew’s injury, probably won’t do – or simply wait out the season to presumably start it all over again next year.

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Will Jordan Matthews ever return to his Philadelphia Eagles prime? No, probably not; his game has fallen off since being traded to Buffalo, and considering he isn’t even playing slot receiver anymore, the days of coming a quick slant away from 1,000 yards are likely done. Still, if he can come back healthy next spring, the only-30-year-old will likely have a chance to try all over again in Year 9.