When Philadelphia hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, Eagles wideout Jordan Matthews won't be on the field.
Coach Doug Pederson announced Monday that the third-year receiver will miss a couple of weeks with knee soreness. The hope is that Matthews will be ready to play in Philly's critical third preseason tilt against the Indianapolis Colts.
Pederson emphasized that Matthews suffered no structural damage to the knee, which he first tweaked last week. Still, it's a problematic development for the Eagles, who initially expected Matthews to skip just a few days.
Matthews will lose valuable game snaps, while leaving the Eagles especially thin at the position. Expected to play primarily in the slot, Matthews leads a group that includes Josh Huff, second-year man Nelson Agholor and former Rams castoff Chris Givens. Veteran Rueben Randle is also on the roster.
Matthews was the team's most productive receiver last season, leading the Eagles in targets (126), receptions (85), yardage (997) and touchdowns (8). Philly's new coaching staff tried him on the outside during the spring, but ultimately decided he was better suited for the slot. That's where he'll play once the knee gets a clean bill of health.