The Philadelphia Eagles need to give Deontay Burnett a bigger role.
One month can change everything, especially in the NFL. That’s plenty of time to readjust opinions and expectations. The Eagles wide receiver corps was thriving and seemed to be dripping with playmaking prowess in training camp. Heck, even J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was showing some flashes. Rookie wideout Jalen Reagor had infused the team with energy. John Hightower was getting some attention. DeSean Jackson was relatively healthy. It seemed like Marquise Goodwin’s decision to opt-out of the 2020 season wasn’t going to hurt the team much.
Then, the regular season began and we found out quickly that this isn’t a team that’s ready for the bright lights. Jackson is hurt again. Reagor showed signs but now has a UCL injury, and John Hightower’s best play wasn’t even a catch. He drew a pass interference call in Week 3 that helped keep a game-tying drive alive.
Arcega-Whiteside hasn’t done anything of note, and it’s time to give his playing time to someone who’s going to take advantage of it, someone like wide receiver Deontay Burnett. One of four practice squad players the Eagles protected in Week 3, Philly promoted this young man to the active roster before their matchup versus the Bengals.
In his 2020 debut, Burnett hauled in three passes for 19 yards. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but they’re better than anything Arcega-Whiteside or Hightower has done in three games (and Burnett has played 73 fewer snaps this season). It’s time for a shakeup, and part of it needs to begin at the wide receiver position.