Eagles calling on veteran tight end to replace Tyree Jackson


The Eagles received some tough news this weekend when they found out that third tight end Tyree Jackson tore his ACL in Week 18.

At least they have an eight-year veteran ready to go.

Head coach Nick Sirianni said that Richard Rodgers will be the practice squad tight end to take over for Jackson when the Eagles face the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Having a 29-year-old veteran like Rodgers on the practice squad is a welcome luxury.

READ: Eagles will continue to rely on impressive rookie class in playoffs

“I think Richard Rodgers has done a good job every time he’s gotten an opportunity to play,” Sirianni said on Monday. “He brings good veteran leadership. He brings great ability to block, not only in the first level but at the second level as well. And so he’ll be the one that’s elevated up and ready to go. He’s had to step up in that role a couple times this year for a couple different reasons. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him to do that.”

The Eagles also have second-year tight end Noah Togiai on their practice squad, but Rodgers is the obvious choice for the playoffs and that’s the way the Eagles are going here.

This season, Rodgers has played in three games. He has just two catches for 11 yards (both came in Week 18 against the Cowboys) but Rodgers has played a lot of NFL football. In his career, Rodgers has played in 88 games with 28 starts. And he even has significant playoff experience.

Rodgers has played in 10 career playoff games with two starts. Three of those playoff games came with the Eagles in 2018-19.

Rodgers was once a third-round pick out of Cal and even had over 500 yards receiving in his second NFL season with the Packers back in 2015. Those days appear to be over for Rodgers, but having him as a third-stringer isn’t a bad option at all.

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Entering the wild card round, Rodgers will be the third tight end behind Dallas Goedert and rookie Jack Stoll. Rodgers has considerably more NFL experience than either of the two guys in front of him.

The third tight end position might not seem like a big deal but the Eagles’ have really utilized their 13 personnel package in the second half of the year as they became a run-first offense. Jackson, who wasn’t even active until Week 9, ended up playing 171 offensive snaps, which is 15% for the entire season.

According to SharpFootball, the Eagles have used 13 personnel on 9% of their offensive snaps this season, tied for the second-highest percentage league-wide. Since Week 8, they have used 13 personnel on 62 snaps (11%) of their offensive snaps. The only team to use 13 personnel more in that span is Cleveland (64/14%).

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