Brent Celek’s production is starting to increase and it’s not by accident. The fourth-year veteran has seven catches for 105 yards in the last two games, including a critical 20-yard reception last night on a third-and-19 play that set the Eagles up for a 5-yard touchdown to Owen Schmitt to put the game away.
Over the last two weeks, Celek has been targeted 15 times. In the previous five games, he was targeted a grand total of 17, including a goose egg against the Giants. He’s responded with two of his better games of the season, and Celek believes the extra opportunities have played a role.
“I think so I mean, but listen, whatever I have to do to help this team win, that’s what I’m going to do,” Celek said. “If it consists of pass blocking, run blocking, catching the football, whatever it consists of, I’m going to do it, because right now the feeling that we have after winning is ultimately the best.”
Last season, Celek put together a career year with 971 yards and eight touchdowns on 76 receptions. That averaged out to just under five catches and slightly over 60 yards per game, so Celek’s last two games (three catches for 50 yards and four for 55) have been a little closer to the output he saw most of last year.
Seeing more balls his way isn’t the only reason Celek has improved lately though. Over the last few weeks, he’s finally returned to full strength after suffering a right wrist injury in week three against the Jaguars.
“It was basically – I bruised all of the bones in there, so it was something that was getting better, then it would get worse, then it would get better,” Celek said. “Now it really doesn’t bug me at all.”
Celek stressed that playing through injuries is part of football and not an excuse, but clearly he’s better equipped as a receiver now that his wrist has healed. And if his number’s not called?
“I don’t see it as a bad thing,” Celek said. “That’s my job. As a tight end I’ve got to block, run block, pass block and catch passes. So I know sometimes people don’t see the stats and they’re like, ‘Well, what’s Celek doing?’ But I’m still out there, I’m still working my butt off to help this team out.”
If that work pays off with similar numbers to the last two weeks’ down the stretch, Celek would end up with around 45 catches for 550 yards and 5 touchdowns. Not last year’s production, but not awful either – it would be his second best season as a pro.
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