The Philadelphia Eagles are back from their bye and set for a highly anticipated Super Bowl rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs (the first time both teams have played since Kansas City beat Philadelphia in Super Bowl LVII 10 months ago).
The much-hyped matchup is the first of a five-game stretch for the Eagles, who will face the Chiefs (away), Buffalo Bills (home), San Francisco 49ers (home), Dallas Cowboys (road), and Seattle Seahawks (road).
The gauntlet got even more difficult after Dallas Goedert suffered a forearm fracture in the Week 9 win over Dallas.
Goedert wasn’t placed on injured reserve, but Philadelphia will need to replace his production, and we’re looking at the committee of skill players up for the job.
The Eagles acquired Okwuegbunam in a trade with Denver in late August and since then he’s been expanding his knowledge of the scheme.
A tight end with similar athleticism to Goedert’s, Okwuegbunam has had success against the Chiefs in his career – 7 catches for 60 yards in a 2020 game, 3 catches for 21 yards in 2021, and then 3 receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown in last season’s regular-season finale.
Okwuegbunam had 54 catches for 546 yards and four touchdowns during his three seasons with the Broncos, and GM Howie Roseman brought him in for moments like this.
Stoll will initially be the No. 1 tight end in Goedert’s absence.
Stoll had seven catches for 74 yards in Goedert’s five-game absence, but he’s primarily a physical run blocker, and will cede snaps to more athletic players.
The one guy who could replace Goedert’s production and make the offense more explosive in key situations is Julio Jones.
With Quez Watkins still out, eexpect a larger role for Jones as the Eagles turn to more three-receiver sets (11 personnel). Watkins was in a similar situation last season when Goedert was out, and responded with 18 catches for 128 yards, with two of his three touchdowns on the season coming in that span.
Things could work out the same for Julio Jones.
Calcaterra has four receptions for 41 yards in five previous games that Goedert has missed, and overall, he’s logged 5 career catches for 81 yards.
Like Albert Okwuegbunam, Calcaterra is a natural pass catcher who has chemistry and experience working with Jalen Hurts.
Zaccheaus averaged 4.8 yards after the catch last season, the 20th-best in the league.
He offers versatility as a route runner and can separate in the short and intermediate areas. The Eagles can utilize his speed to challenge defensive coverage on vertical routes, while replacing Goedert’s production via his work out of the slot.
A true dual threat, Swift logged 1,198 receiving yards and seven additional scores on 156 catches during his tenure with the Lions.
This season, Swift has 30 catches on 35 targets for 166 yards and one receiving touchdown. With Dallas Goedert out, Philadelphia could look to Swift or Kenneth Gainwell even more in the passing game.