Quez Watkins barely plays against Giants – NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

And after Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni expressed his confidence in Quez Watkins last week, Watkins played exactly one offensive play against the Giants in Week 16.

Watkins, 25, had a promising season in 2021, eventually becoming the Eagles’ No. 2 receiver. But he followed that up with a disappointing season in 2022 and has had an even tougher time in 2023. He has managed to play in just eight games this season and has just seven catches for 49 yards.

Against the Seahawks, Jalen Hurts tried to hit Watkins with a deep ball, but it was picked off as Watkins failed to get back into the football.

Here’s what Sirianni said last week when asked if he was going to cut back on Watkins’ playing time:

“We’ll see. Again, we have confidence in him as a player and as a teammate. Julio (Jones) has done a good job. (Olamide Zaccheaus) has done a good job. We have three guys who rotate in and are the third receiver. We We’ll see where the reps continue to go. Every game plan is a little different from what you ask of the players and the roles, so we’ll see.”

Watkins played only once against the Giants. After returning from IR, Watkins has played 16, 46, 26, 36 and now 1 snap in the last five games, respectively.

Here’s how the snap counts at receiver played out in the Eagles’ 33-25 win over the Giants:

AJ Brown: 73 snaps (97%) – 11 targets, 6 catches, 80 yards
DeVonta Smith: 70 snaps (93%) – 5 targets, 4 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD
Julio Jones: 20 snaps (27%) – 4 targets, 1 catch, 5 yards
Olamide Zacheaus: 18 snaps (24%) – 1 target
Great Britain Covey: 1 snap (1%) – 1 target, 1 catch, 7 yards
Quez Watkins: 1 moment (1%) – 0 goals

Other offensive comments

• Jalen Hurts and his entire offensive line played all 75 offensive snaps. Sua Opeta filled in for Landon Dickerson at left guard; Dickerson was out after thumb surgery during the week. And Cam Jurgens (abdomen) made his return after missing last week’s game.

• D’Andre Swift led the running backs with 43 snaps, followed by Kenny Gainwell’s 30 and Boston Scott’s 2. Swift and Gainwell each had great matches. Swift had 92 yards on 20 carries, including a strong finish in the fourth quarter. Gainwell had 79 yards from scrimmage on 9 touches.

• The Eagles really gave their best in this game. Dallas Goedert played 64 snaps, followed by Jack Stoll (39) and Grant Calcaterra (14). The Eagles consisted of 12 personnel on 45% of their snaps and 13 personnel on 5% of their snaps. They used 12 staff members for only 12% of their photos from weeks 1-15 this year.

Defensive comments

• Reed Blankenship, Kevin Byard and James Bradberry played all 63 defensive snaps in this game. Without a pair of linebackers, Blankenship basically had the green dot on his helmet for communications.

• At linebacker, Shaq Leonard played 54 snaps and rookie Ben VanSumeren played 36 snaps. (Remember, Zach Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow were both out). That’s a new Eagles highlight for Leonard and those were the first 36 defensive snaps of VanSumeren’s NFL career.

• Kelee Ringo started and played 51 snaps. Bradley Roby played 31, Eli Ricks played 29 and Sydney Brown played 26. The Eagles still rotated quite a bit in the secondary.

• Rookie first-round pick Nolan Smith played a career-high 17 snaps split between edge and off-ball linebacker. Smith played some off-ball in training camp, but this was his first extended run there.

• Jalen Carter played just 21 snaps, which appeared to be a response to a few mistakes. One was completely inexcusable when he didn’t get off the field in time and took a penalty. But on Tuesday, Nick Sirianni said the reduced snaps were not discipline but due to personnel grouping. We saw some edge rushers play inside on the pass.

• Haason Reddick (53 snaps) and Josh Sweat (46) continue to lead the Eagles’ edge rushers by a wide margin. Sweat has now played 771 snaps this season, breaking his previous career-high of 655 in 2021, with two games remaining in the regular season. Sweat has now gone six games without a sack.

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