Philadelphia Eagles: 4 theories that support promoting Deontay Burnett

Deontay Burnett, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Deontay Burnett, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Deontay Burnett (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

3. The Philadelphia Eagles clearly value Deontay Burnett.

Last year, the Eagles added Deontay Burnett to their practice squad in mid-December. In Week 17, they decided to promote him to the active roster despite having Marcus Green, who had been on the practice squad for the entire season. Once on the active roster, Burnett wasn’t warming the bench. He saw action right away and took advantage of every opportunity he earned.

This past summer, he made a strong case for a roster spot, but he fell victim to the numbers game, similarly to what happened with Greg Ward early. DeSean Jackson and Jalen Reagor were locks to make the team. Ward was set to be the slot receiver after Marquise Goodwin opted out. Rookies John Hightower and Quez Watkins earned their spots and most fans anticipated that Philly wouldn’t give up on one of their second-round selections from 2019.

They were correct. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was given a second chance. Alshon Jeffery was also in, even though we knew he wouldn’t be available early. What’s surprising was ’17’ didn’t begin the season on the injured reserve. That, in essence, tied up another spot that could have gone to Burnett.

That group has a different feel to it than it had on opening day. Jackson is seeing limited snaps to stay fresh for the long run. Reagor has already suffered his second injury as an Eagle. Watkins went on injured reserve shortly after making the roster. Alshon is still not healthy. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside hasn’t pulled in a catch in Philly’s first two games, and John Hightower looked like a deer in headlights in game one. Philly’s wide receiver corps could use a new face. One of Burnett’s catches last year also came when Wentz was rolling out of the pocket so maybe if there are more designed rollouts, Burnett can be used on some of them.