Anyone who watched the Eagles through Training Camp and the preseason felt that rookie tight end Dallas Goedert, the team's first draft pick in the spring (second round, 49th overall), would have a chance to make an immediate impact in the offense this season. He appeared to pick up the offense quickly, run his routes crisply, and catch the ball consistently.
The thought was that the 1-2 combination of Zach Ertz, coming off a Pro Bowl season, and Goedert would give the Eagles favorable matchups in the passing game. It's still early, and the sample size is small, but the Goedert impact has been minimal in the team's 1-1 start. Goedert has played a total of 34 offensive snaps, split evenly in the two games, and has contributed one reception for 4 yards.
Why has Goedert had such limited playing time? What has happened with him?
"Nothing has happened with Dallas. A lot of times it's the way the game goes, the flow of the game," head coach Doug Pederson said of Goedert on Monday. "With the injuries to some of our perimeter guys, by just keeping guys in their regular positions, it's easier to change one guy than it is to change two or three which would disrupt the entire game plan. It's nothing against Dallas. He's improving each and every week. We're excited about him. We're looking forward to continuing to work with him and get him in there. The kid's going to be a good player."
Said offensive coordinator Mike Groh on Tuesday: "We have a talented player in Dallas, and we need to find more ways to get him involved. We need to get him involved more. We had some extenuating circumstances the other day, for a variety of reasons. He just wasn't in there in the spots where we were getting the ball to. We're going to continue to try to monitor that and make sure that he is going to help us win games here."
For his part, Goedert is showing absolutely no signs of frustration. In fact, he seems to think there's a chance that the offense will find a way to fit in all three tight ends against the Colts on Sunday – including Josh Perkins, who has been running out of the "F" position in the formation, similar to an H-back or a "move" tight end – as the Eagles look to compensate for a wide receiver corps missing Alshon Jeffery, Mack Hollins, and Mike Wallace. The Eagles also released DeAndre Carter on Tuesday, leaving them with Nelson Agholor, Kamar Aiken, and Shelton Gibson as the only three healthy wide receivers on the 53-man active roster.
That's subject to change, as is the relative inactivity regarding Goedert.
"Whether they put me in or not, I'm going to be ready," Goedert said. "I prepare all week to play. I want to be out there, but the coach has the team's best interests in mind."
Goedert knows that the season is going to be a long one and that his job is to be ready when called upon. That could be Sunday against a 1-1 Colts team coming off a dominating defensive performance in Sunday's victory over Washington.
"I felt good out there," Goedert said. "I feel I performed well on all my plays out there so that's really all I can do. I know my time will come. I've got to be patient. It's my second game, I'm not too worried about it."