Alshon Jemell Jeffery is 30-years old and was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina; he was part of an impressive four-time state championship-winning basketball team that went 84-1. He also played two years of football and initially verbally committed to the University of Southern California before he switched to the University of South Carolina. At the University of South Carolina, Jeffery played three years, not missing a single game due to injury.
His freshman season, Jeffery caught 46 passes for 763 yards and six touchdowns, following up with a monster sophomore campaign where he caught 88 passes for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns. Then as a junior, he caught 49 passes for 762 yards and eight touchdowns.
At the NFL Combine, he measured 6’2?” tall, weighed 216 pounds, and ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash. The Chicago Bears selected Jeffery in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
In his eight NFL seasons, Jeffery spent his first 5 with the Bears and his last three with the Eagles. Jeffery, unfortunately, missed six games his rookie season (2012) after breaking his hand and suffering a knee injury. In 2013 and 2014, he played 16 games in each season.
Then in 2015, Jeffery missed multiple games with a combination of injuries, including a hamstring strain as well as a calf strain. He was placed on injured reserve and missed the final two games of the season with a hamstring injury.
Jeffery again struggled in 2016 to play all 16 games, but this time it was due to violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Jeffery finished his time with the Bears with having the third-most receiving yards in Bears’ franchise history (4,549).
Signing a one-year deal entering the 2017 season with the Philadelphia Eagles Jeffery had a fantastic season, playing in all 16 games, catching 57 passes for 789 yards and 9 touchdowns, helping the Eagles to a Super Bowl Championship. After this season ended, Jeffery underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. The rehab for this surgery is very significant and carried into the following season, causing him to miss the first three games of the 2018 season.
Then last season, Jeffery struggled again with injuries, only managing to play 10 games. He suffered a calf strain early in the season, an ankle injury in November and finally, a Lisfranc injury in December that caused him to miss the rest of the season.
Let’s talk about some of Jeffery‘s critical injuries, and there are a couple of trends that are concerning here. Jeffery seems to struggle with soft tissue injuries like many other elite athletes. Between calf strains, groin strains, and hamstring strains, Jeffery has missed multiple games spanning several seasons.
His most significant injury heading into the 2019 season was his torn right rotator cuff. Without the four rotator cuff muscles, we would be pretty much useless with our hands. The rotator cuff is responsible for grabbing anything out in front or overhead. These four muscles work together to achieve pretty much anything that we need to with our hands. Any extension of the elbows puts the rotator cuff in use.
Jeffery must have suffered a significant tear to one or more of the rotator cuff tendons; otherwise, there is no reason why he would have undergone surgery. I treat rotator cuff injuries every day, and they’re very frustrating. It is almost impossible to do anything with your hands without using your shoulders. Try opening the door without extending your elbow, which activates your rotator cuff muscles/tendons. Combing your hair and putting your clothes on is painfully challenging, with a severe rotator cuff injury.
Let’s take this a step further and realize that Jeffery is a wide receiver and has to not only catch the ball but extend his hands, which 100% requires the rotator cuff. Traditionally rotator cuff surgeries need about nine months to return to full strength. Most people are immobilized in a sling for the first six weeks after surgery, and no lifting is allowed at all.
Begin lifting lightweight up to 5 pounds between 6 and 12 weeks. Imagine being four months out from surgery, and you can still only lift 5 pounds (less than a gallon of milk)? Now you appreciate how significant rotator cuff surgery is.
Jeffery’s season-ending foot injury is also quite concerning. He possibly suffered a Lisfranc injury, which is a very significant injury to the middle of the foot. It is unclear if it was a sprain or a full tear of the ligament. For reference, this is what derailed Cam Newton’s season in 2019. If this was only a mild sprain, then there is a chance he did not need surgery, but if the tear were more moderate to severe/full-thickness, then he would’ve had to undergo surgery.
Coach Doug Pederson spoke in mid-June 2020, stating that Jeffery was still without a timetable to return from his foot injury. The most crucial part is for him to not re-injure the foot, and to get it back to 100% before stepping on the field. Rushing this injury and causing a re-injury would ultimately derail his 2020 season.
Hopefully as the season gets closer, we will have new updates. If Jeffery is not 100% by week one, I think we will likely see a combination between DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Marquise Goodwin as the primary wide receivers.
The passing game revolves around their two tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. It almost has no choice as Alshon Jeffery and crew don’t stay healthy. In 2019 no wide receiver went over 500 yards, and the Eagles were 8th in passing attempts.
Jeffery was the closest to the 500 yards with 490 in the 10 games he was active, and he managed only 11.4 yards per catch and 6.7 yards per target. Both statistics were career lows, and Jeffery only added six catches of 20-plus yards.
Even with those negatives, Jeffery is a WR2 or better in the last three seasons. In 2017 he finished as a WR21, a WR22 in 2018, and WR11 in eight games last year. He will be prominent in this offense when on the field. It won’t be easy as the Eagles look ready to move on.
Jeffery was in trade rumors this off-season, but since his 2020 salary is 100% guaranteed, he has a cap hit of $15.45M and he accounts for $26M in dead cap, trading him would be virtually impossible. The Eagles made sure the receiving corps was stacked, just in case him and DeSean Jackson couldn’t get back to full health. Philadelphia drafted Reagor in the first round, John Hightower in the fifth, Quez Watkins in the sixth and brought in Manasseh Bailey and Khalil Tate as Undrafted Free Agents. Not to mention, Jackson and Arcega-Whiteside are back. In a trade with San Francisco, the Eagles now have Goodwin.
The volume will be taken away from Jeffery at the running back position as Miles Sanders is a good receiver out of the backfield. Sanders caught 50 passes last season. Carson Wentz can also run, and when the quarterback is running the ball, he isn’t throwing it.
The offense is middle tier but should see an uptick with healthy receivers and a stocked shelf at the position. Philadelphia scored 385 points (12th) and tallied 5772 total yards (14th). Wentz and crew attempted 613 passes (8th) and 3833 yards (11th), which included 27 touchdowns (12th).
The Eagles offensive line is a top-tier group, as PFF recently ranked them as having the #1 O-Line in 2019. Three of five starters made the Pro Bowl, and Jason Kelce made first-team All-Pro. Brandon Brooks, the right guard, made second-team All-Pro but is out the entire season with a torn ACL. Brooks tore it in the Playoff game against the Saints. The Eagles will have at least one new starter, as Andre Dilliard takes over for Jason Peters at left tackle and Peters just recently resigned to play guard.
Sports Injury Predictor estimates that Jeffery has a 47.7% chance of injury in 2020. I think this percentage has the potential to go up if his foot injury ends up being more severe than initially advertised.
My risk score for Jeffery in 2020 is 7 out of 10. He struggles to stay healthy, and over the past five seasons, Jeffrey has only played all 16 games once, playing in season totals of 9, 10, 12, 13, and 16 games. Unfortunately, I think Jeffrey’s best days are behind him.
As of July 8, he has an ADP of WR61 and an overall of 167. Jeffery had sporadic production in 2019, but he is the number one receiver on the team unless proven otherwise. He does have an uphill battle with injuries, age, and volume but is in a prime position to excel on a great passing team. However, the ceiling is there for him to put himself as a WR3 by the end of the season.Injury Risk: High. 7/10.
|Projected Missed||Probability of injury per game ?||Probablity of injury in the season ?|
|Dec 9, 2019||Pedal Foot Sprain||Jeffery suffered a Lisfranc injury during the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the New York Giants. He missed the rest of the season|
|Nov 3, 2019||Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Jeffery tweaked his ankle during the fourth quarter of the game versus the Bears. He missed the next 2 games|
|Sep 15, 2019||Leg Calf Strain||Jeffery exited the game vs. Atlanta early with a calf injury and did not return. He missed the next game|
|Feb 21, 2018||Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tear||Following February rotator-cuff surgery, Jeffery remained out until Week 4 of the regular season.|
|Jul 30, 2017||Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tear||Jeffery tore his right rotator cuff in training camp. He played all 16 games but had surgery after the season on Feb. 21.|
|Sep 21, 2016||Knee Strain Grade 1||Jeffery suffered a minor knee strain in practice but wasn't forced to miss any games as a result.|
|Aug 2, 2016||Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Jeffery missed some camp practice with a mild hamstring strain but was back in time for the preseason opener.|
|Dec 20, 2015||Thigh Hamstring Tear Grade 3||Jeffery missed the final 2 games with hamstring "tightness." He hit IR in Week 17.|
|Nov 18, 2015||Shoulder||Jeffery added an unspecified shoulder issue on the Week 11 injury report. He sat out the game but returned the following week.|
|Nov 11, 2015||Inguinal Groin Pull Grade 1||Jeffery suffered another injury during practice. He suffered a minor groin pull but didn't miss any games from the injury.|
|Sep 17, 2015||Thigh Hamstring Strain Grade 2||Jeffery's left hamstring tightened up after Thursday practice for Week 2. He missed the next 4 games, blaming the new issue on his existing calf injury.|
|Aug 11, 2015||Leg Calf Pull||After sustaining a "mild calf strain," Jeffery was in crutches and a boot and was sidelined for the whole preseason. Jeffery returned for Week 1 but then missed 4 games after adding a hamstring injury.|
|Sep 7, 2014||Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Jeffery pulled his hamstring in Week 1 and had to leave the game. He was able to play in Week 2 but was clearly limited.|
|Nov 19, 2012||Knee Tear||Jeffery sustained a left knee injury that required "minor" arthroscopic surgery on Nov. 21 and cost him 2 games.|
|Oct 7, 2012||Hand Metacarpal Fracture||Jeffery fractured his right hand in Week 5 and missed the next 4 games, following a Week 6 bye. He avoided surgery.|