How much can Stoll, Calcaterra make up for Goedert's loss?


Jack Stoll arrived in Philly known as a blocking specialist, a tight end with limited receiving skills who could be an elite-level blocker.

Grant Calcaterra arrived in Philly known as a receiving specialist, a tight end with good hands and terrific athleticism.

Stoll has worked hard on his receiving, and Calcaterra has worked hard on his blocking, and both know they have to be complete tight ends if they’re going to help the Eagles during Dallas Goedert’s absence. 

The Eagles placed Goedert on Injured Reserve Wednesday with a shoulder injury he suffered while being face-masked to the ground during the loss to the Commanders Monday night. He’ll miss at least four games, which means he’s not eligible to play until the Bears game on Dec. 18.

It’s a monumental loss.

How do we replace him? You can't," Nick Sirianni said Wednesday. 

But Stoll and Calcaterra are sure going to try.

Stoll, a second-year undrafted free agent from Nebraska, is expected to start in place of Goedert. He’s already started 10 career games, including five this year, when the Eagles have opened in 12 personnel. He's been playing 40 percent of the Eagles' snaps, or 27 reps per game. Calcaterra, who didn’t play until Week 3, is playing 15 percent of the snaps, or about 10 per game.

“I think that room is well coached,” Jalen Hurts said. “I think they have a great example in Dallas, watching him all the time, getting to see how he does things and I think prior to Dallas, Dallas was able to watch Zach Ertz and learn a lot from him, so a lot of respect for him as well. 

“Those guys will be ready for the opportunity when it comes. They put the work in every day and we have a lot of trust in them.”

Stoll has had seven targets this year, catching four passes for 49 yards. Those numbers will go up.

“I view myself as being a complete tight end, and obviously the role has been more to block as everyone sees, but I think as we get moving forward here if that opens up some opportunities, I’m going to make the most of whatever the coaches ask me to do,” Stoll said.

Where has he improved the most since joining the Eagles?

“I think in general just running routes, understanding what a defense is trying to do, whose leverage I have to threaten and really at the end of the day just coming out of breaks, that’s my biggest thing,” he said.

“Just trying to become someone who the coaches feel like they can rely on in the passing game, and if there’s an opportunity this week to go out there and do that, that’s what I’ll do. Whatever I’m asked to do, I’ll go out there and kill it. That’s how we’re all viewing it and that’s how we’ll tackle it.”

Calcaterra has only been targeted once this year, and he turned it into a 40-yard completion in his first NFL game – at Washington back in Week 3. But he’s become a decent blocker and is ranked among the top 11 tight ends in the league in both pass and run blocking. 

“They always talk about being a complete tight end, not having any weaknesses,” Calcaterra said. “That’s the beauty of the position, being able to go out there as a tight end and run routes like a receiver and then keep the defense in the same personnel and be able to run the ball and be efficient, almost like a tackle. 

“That’s the ultimate goal of being a tight end, to be complete, so we’re always striving to be better in both areas.”

Goedert of course is one of the best in the league at blocking and receiving, and Stoll and Calcaterra won’t be able to replace everything he’s done.

“Losing a talent like him, he’s a guy who can’t be replaced,” Jalen Hurts said. “For us, we have to trust in everybody and trust in everybody in taking advantage of the opportunities coming their way. Continue to play team football. We try to go out there and try to play complimentary football so just continue to do that.”

Goedert is second to Travis Kelce among all NFL tight ends this year with 544 yards, and Stoll, Calcaterra and Tyree Jackson – who the Eagles activated from PUP Wednesday – have a combined 12 career receptions.

This won’t be easy.

“It’s going to be a team effort,” Stoll said. “Dallas was having a Pro Bowl season, so seeing him get hurt was tough on all of us. Especially seeing him go back out there. He’s a tough son of a bitch. He went back out there with something he shouldn’t have been playing with and that’s something a lot of guys wouldn’t do. He not only went out there and played well he gained the respect of a lot of guys out there. 

“I don’t think any one of us are going to fill his shoes, it’s going to be a team effort and we’re just looking forward to doing that.”

Goedert was playing 88 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps, or more than 60 per game. Those reps will be spread out not just among the backup tight ends but the receivers and backs.

“Just keep it rolling,” Calcaterra said. “We have a process that we stick to, it’s nothing new, just get right back in the swing of things and be ready to go Sunday. Just business as usual.”

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