PHILADELPHIA -- Depleted at wide receiver, the Eagles turned to a familiar face for help, signing Jordan Matthews on Wednesday while placing starting wideout Mike Wallace on injured reserve.
Matthews, a second-round pick by the Eagles in 2014, played in Philadelphia for three years, averaging 75 catches, 891 yards and six touchdowns per season. He was traded to the Buffalo Bills prior to the start of last season along with a third-round pick for cornerback Ronald Darby. Hampered by injury, Matthews bounced from Buffalo to New England and was released by the Patriots with an injury settlement in August.
The Eagles are in serious need of depth at the moment, with only three healthy wide receivers on their 53-man roster. Wallace suffered a fractured fibula against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2 and underwent surgery Tuesday. Alshon Jeffery is still on the mend from offseason rotator cuff surgery; coach Doug Pederson recently described him as "week-to-week." Mack Hollins is on injured reserve with a groin injury.
That left Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson and Kamar Aiken to hold down the fort.
Primarily a slot receiver, Matthews is not a perfect fit. One reason he was dealt last offseason is because the Eagles wanted to move Agholor inside, and he has thrived as the team's slot receiver. But Agholor does have the experience and ability to play outside, and Matthews should be able to jump into the fray rather quickly given his familiarity with Pederson's system.
Matthews was valued in the locker room during his first stint with the Eagles and is a close friend of quarterback Carson Wentz, who will be making his return from a knee injury on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.