The Eagles used a second-round draft pick on Stanford wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the 2019 NFL Draft because they saw a player who would be able, among other things, to go up and snatch a 50/50 pass out of the hands of a defensive back and make big plays for the Eagles’ offense. Given a chance to do that late in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field, Arcega-Whiteside was unable to make the catch.
On a fourth-and-15 play with 49 seconds to go, quarterback Carson Wentz heaved a throw deep down the middle of the field for Arcega-Whiteside, who was covered by Lions cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Arcega-Whiteside leaped and had a clean chance to make the grab, but did not come down with the ball and, for a second straight week, a last-minute Eagles rally was thwarted.
Afterward, Arcega-Whiteside faced the media and answered all of the questions, disappointed in himself.
“I gotta go get it,” Arcega-Whiteside said. “It was tight coverage, I was going to elevate. I was expecting some contact, but there really was no contact. The ball kind of ended up right there. I just have to make the play.”
Forced into a starting role with wide receivers DeSean Jackson (abdomen) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) out for Sunday’s game, Arcega-Whiteside was targeted three times and had one reception for 10 yards.
“It’s frustrating,” Arcega-Whiteside said. “The whole game you say that you’re going to stay locked in, stay focused because you never know when it’s going to come to you. For me, it came to me on the very last play. I’m not saying I wasn’t focused, but it was a time to go out there and ‘beast’ it up and I didn’t, so I have to go out there this week and prepare even harder.”
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Lions at Lincoln Financial Field!