Eagles cornerback Zech McPhearson tore his Achilles tendon on Thursday night and will miss the 2023 season, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
McPhearson, 25, went down in the second quarter of the Eagles’ 18-18 tie against the Browns in the second preseason game. He was carted into the locker room and was ruled out quickly with an ankle injury.
The news of the Achilles tear was first reported by CBS Sports’ Cody J. Benjamin.
The Eagles drafted McPhearson out of Texas Tech in the fourth round back in 2021 and he has been a backup and special teams contributor during his first two NFL seasons. McPhearson actually led the Eagles in special teams snaps in 2022 with 362 (80%) and he became a vital gunner on the punt team. This injury comes a week after the Eagles lost another special teams ace, Shaun Bradley, for the year.
This spring and summer, the Eagles have mostly played McPhearson as a nickel cornerback but just this week moved him back to the outside. He played outside corner on Thursday night before suffering the injury.
As a draft pick in 2021, McPhearson was entering his third season in the NFL. He’s still under contract through the 2024 season.
With an IR trip coming for McPhearson, there might be a roster spot open for another young cornerback. We know the roster locks at the position are Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox and Kelee Ringo. But that means there’s probably one or two spots open.
Some of the players fighting for that spot or spots will be Mario Goodrich, Eli Ricks, Mekhi Garner and Josiah Scott. Goodrich might be the guy to watch. He has been working at nickel all summer and if the Eagles want a backup at that position, he might be their best bet.