Roster spot security is a luxury
Some players on the 32 different NFL teams have the luxury of a secure roster spot. The Tom Brady’s, Carson Wentz’s, Aaron Rodgers, Fletcher Cox’s and so on know that their place on the roster is locked. However, most guys on the 90-man preseason roster are not so lucky. They are playing and fighting to earn a spot on the team’s 53-man roster. So far, of the guys who don’t have a secure spot, only one has appeared to lock in a roster spot with the Birds, wide receiver Shelton Gibson.
His leap forward in his second year
Gibson is a fifth-round pick out of West Virginia. He turned heads with his ridiculous speed during the combine. However, when he got to training camp, the NFL playbook proved to be a little overwhelming. The Eagles kept Gibson for the 53-man roster regardless, using him on special teams. He recorded two catches for 11 yards last season, both coming in the regular season finale against the Cowboys.
If they kept Gibson last season, they will DEFINITELY keep him now.
Gibson’s prime opportunity
On my initial 53-man roster prediction, I have Gibson making the team as the fifth wide receiver. With the injuries to Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins, Gibson has had the perfect opportunity to shine and he has taken advantage of it in every way.
He’s proving he has reliable hands in short and long ball situations. He has also shown his value on kick returns as well. Reports through training camp said that Gibson looked really good and showed significant improvement. In last week’s preseason opener, he caught two passes for 77 yards including one for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Shelton Gibson with a 46-yard kickoff return.#FlyEaglesFly
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 16, 2018
In last night’s Super Bowl rematch, he tallied five receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown.
— NFL (@NFL) August 17, 2018
First guy to secure his spot
Of all of the “open” slots on the roster, there is only one guy who has locked one up and that is Gibson. He has shown his improvement and his work ethic to get better. After two rough games by the Birds, the former Mountaineer is the only positive that has stood out both times. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see less of Gibson in the next two preseason games in order to ensure his health for the season opener in three weeks.
When I spoke to Gibson at the Eagles draft party in April, he told me that “it’s special to be a part of a team where they’ve never won before”. Now, he will get his opportunity to see much more action on that team in front of those fans after the terrific performance he’s had so far.
Stats from NFL.com
Featured Image: Andrew Spellman via Flickr