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December 05, 2016

Wentz should have his top two weapons back when Eagles host Redskins

Eagles NFL
120516_Matthews-Wentz_AP Ron Jenkins/AP

Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews should be back on the field this week, and that has to make QB Carson Wentz happy.

The Philadelphia Eagles offense was about as bad as the defense was in Sunday's 32-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. And that's saying something.

But what did you really expect out of an offense with a rookie quarterback in Carson Wentz and the following cast of offensive "weapons" he had at his disposal?

W. Smallwood 8 19 0 0
D. Sproles 7 14 6 35
N. Agholor 1 4 4 23
P. Turner 0 0 6 80
Z. Ertz 0 0 9 79
T. Burton 0 0 5 53
D. Green-Beckham 0 0 4 29
K. Barner 0 0 1 2
*WR Bryce Treggs and TE Brent Celek were also there, they just didn't show up on the stat sheet.

Wentz actually finished as the team's second-leading rusher with just three carries for 16 yards. It got so bad at one point that Wentz decided to throw to himself, picking up seven yards on his first NFL reception.

A large reason for the Eagles' offensive struggles was the absence of two of their most productive players, WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) and RB Ryan Mathews (knee), who missed his second straight game. Heading into Week 13, they had accounted for nearly a third of the Eagles yards from scrimmage per game and had scored for 11 of the team's 22 offensive touchdowns.

Wentz will likely have both players available to him when the Birds host Washington on Sunday.

"Ryan Mathews' knee is good," head coach Doug Pederson said Monday. "He's actually going to return to practice this week along with Jordan Matthews. He'll return to practice."

Sure, neither player is having his best season, but both are clear upgrades over the options Wentz had in Cincinnati. Then again, Andy Dalton was missing A.J. Green, a much more valuable player than either of the two Eagles that were missing, as well as RB Giovani Bernard and the Bengals still posted 412 yards and put a season-high 32 points of the Birds defense.

Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who came up holding his side following a big hit by Adam "Pacman" Jones late in the game, was diagnosed with an oblique contusion and will not practice when the team returns to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday.

"It's going to be pretty sore for him," Pederson said. "We'll hold him out of practice actually on Wednesday this week, but right now he should be okay for the game."

And as for rookie offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who had been filling in for suspended right tackle Lane Johnson, is getting closer to a return, but still seems unlikely to be ready to face Washington.

"He's going to do a little more this week, not from a practice standpoint but from a rehab standpoint, and he's doing good," Pederson added. "But we'll see where he is again later in the week.

"Everybody else is good."

Good? Eh, I think you mean they're healthy, Doug.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin