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Eagles snap counts: Quez Watkins barely plays vs. Giants

Here's a complete look at Eagles snap counts from Monday's win over the Giants.

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Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

And after Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni professed his confidence in Quez Watkins last week, Watkins played exactly one offensive snap against the Giants in Week 16.

Watkins, 25, had a really promising season in 2021, when he ended up being the Eagles’ No. 2 receiver. But he followed that up with a disappointing season in 2022 and has struggled even more in 2023. He has managed to play in just eight games this season and has just 7 catches for 49 yards.

Against the Seahawks, Jalen Hurts tried to hit Watkins with a deep ball but it was picked off as Watkins failed to come back to the football.

Here’s what Sirianni said last week when asked if he was going to cut Watkins’ playing time:

“We'll see. Again, we're confident in him as a player, as a teammate. Julio (Jones) has done a good job. [Olamide Zaccheaus] has done a good job. We have three guys that rotate in between being the No. 3 receiver. We'll see where the reps continue to go. Each game plan is a little bit different of what you're asking the players to do and the roles, so we'll see.”

Against the Giants, Watkins played just one snap. After coming back from IR, Watkins has played 16, 46, 26, 36 and now 1 snap in the last five games, respectively.

Here’s how the snap counts broke down at receiver in the Eagles’ 33-25 win over the Giants:

A.J. Brown: 73 snaps (97%) — 11 targets, 6 catches, 80 yards
DeVonta Smith: 70 snaps (93%) — 5 targets, 4 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD
Julio Jones: 20 snaps (27%) — 4 targets, 1 catch, 5 yards
Olamide Zaccheaus: 18 snaps (24%) — 1 target
Britain Covey: 1 snap (1%) — 1 target, 1 catch, 7 yards
Quez Watkins: 1 snap (1%) — 0 targets

Other offensive notes

• Jalen Hurts and his entire offensive line played all 75 offensive snaps. Sua Opeta filled in for Landon Dickerson at left guard; Dickerson was out after having thumb surgery during the week. And Cam Jurgens (abdomen) made his return after missing last week’s game.

• D’Andre Swift led the running backs with 43 snaps, followed by Kenny Gainwell’s 30 and Boston Scott’s 2. Swift and Gainwell each had nice games. Swift had 92 yards on 20 carries, including a strong finish in the fourth quarter. Gainwell had 79 yards from scrimmage on 9 touches.

• The Eagles really got their tight ends involved in this game. Dallas Goedert played 64 snaps, followed by Jack Stoll (39) and Grant Calcaterra (14). The Eagles were in 12 personnel on 45% of their snaps and 13 personnel on 5% of their snaps. They used 12 personnel on just 12% of their snaps from Weeks 1-15 this year.

Defensive notes

• Reed Blankenship, Kevin Byard and James Bradberry played all 63 defensive snaps in this game. Without a couple linebackers, Blankenship actually had the green dot on his helmet for communication.

• At linebacker, Shaq Leonard played 54 snaps and rookie Ben VanSumeren played 36 snaps. (Remember, Zach Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow were both out). That’s a new Eagles high for Leonard and those were the first 36 defensive snaps of VanSumeren’s NFL career.

• Kelee Ringo started and played 51 snaps. Bradley Roby played 31, Eli Ricks played 29 and Sydney Brown played 26. The Eagles were rotating quite a bit still in the secondary.

• Rookie first-round pick Nolan Smith played a career-high 17 snaps split between the edge and off-ball linebacker. Smith played some off-ball back in training camp but this was his first extended run there.

• Jalen Carter played just 21 snaps, which seemed like a reaction to a couple of mistakes. One was completely inexcusable when he failed to get off the field in time and took a penalty. But on Tuesday, Nick Sirianni said the decreased snaps weren't discipline but because of the personnel groupings. We did see some edge rushers playing inside on passing downs.

• Haason Reddick (53 snaps) and Josh Sweat (46) continue to lead the Eagles’ edge rushers by a large margin. Sweat this season has now played 771 snaps, smashing his previous career high of 655 in 2021 and there are still two games left in the regular season. Sweat has now gone six games without a sack.

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