By now, when you mention the NFL’s most elite wide receivers, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery should be in the conversation. For some reason, if he is not, the news we received today should definitely add him to that list.
Today, we found out that Jeffery played the entire season with a torn rotator cuff. This injury was suffered back in training camp. Instead of fixing it right away, he decided to wait until the season was over. Obviously, part of this was due to the fact he was playing a prove it deal, however, he still played through the same injury which has caused many wide receivers, like Eric Decker, to miss the entire year.
Jeffery did not miss a game, and in fact, played 928 snaps for the Eagles. To put that in perspective, the wide receiver with the most snaps was Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald with 1,070. All doing so, Jeffery had a productive year. Jeffery caught 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. He was always there when you needed him to be there, for example, the Eagles early win versus the New York Giants when he made the last second catch to put the Eagles in Jake Elliott range, and on the biggest stages in the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl.
Let’s talk about those two games in particular right now. In the NFC Championship, Jeffery caught five passes for 85 yards and not one, but two touchdowns. He was pretty much unstoppable when called upon. In the Super Bowl, Jeffery did more of the same, scoring an early touchdown, ending the game with three catches for 70 yards and one touchdown. Early on, he exposed the bad matchup with cornerback Eric Rowe. When the Eagles brought in Jeffery, that is what was expected of him. The Eagles knew he was a player that would be able to thrive in the big moments.
Now, heading into 2018, the Eagles will have a fully healthy Alshon Jeffery, which should scare a bunch of teams. If he was able to do all of that with a torn rotator cuff, imagine what he will be able to do now.
That is why Jeffery needs to be in the conversation of one of the best receivers in the league. He has a productive track record and his 2017 season with the Eagles proves it all to be true, and winning a Super Bowl just validates it all as well. There are not many players in the league that can go up and get a ball as good as Jeffery and in the biggest game of his career he displayed that ability to the world.
Is he the best receiver? No. But, is he a top ten talent at the position, most definitely. And, by giving him another year to with the Eagles and another year to build relationships and timing, added to a fully healthy shoulder, Jeffery is set to light the league on fire next year.