The Eagles were light going into week four against the Redskins and coming out of it they were as light as a sheet of paper. After a few days of rest and light practises, things still aren’t looking too promising. Here’s a rundown of the players who didn’t practise at the Novacare Complex today.
One man who did however return to the field was Allen Babre after missing yesterdays practise, which is at least one positive to take.
The bad news for the Eagles is that the positions that have become light, are the positions most in need. It’s not like they have an injured wide receiver with a cast of support actors waiting to step up. It’s not like a DeMarco Murray situation where you have arguably more efficiently suited running backs lined up behind him..the Eagles are starting to struggle. The only position where this may be the case is cornerback, if Byron Maxwell is not quite ready to play on Sunday, there’s a healthy group of guys who are all talented and can be trusted to step up.
The Linebacker situation is especially prominent. After highlighting the lack of a pass rush against Washington, the team are likely to suffer the same fate. Kiko Alonso decimated a Falcons Defense in week one and after an impressive start has been sidelined with injury. Mychal Kendricks has also had a good start but has spent an unhealthy amount of time on the bench.
Luckily for the Eagles, Jordan Hicks has stepped up massively and made big plays in each of his appearances. The rookie is easily a contender for some award recognition at the end of the year but he needs some support. Whilst DeMeco Ryans is seen as the defensive Mufasa, he’s fairly slow and struggles to shed tackles. Barwin has been silenced so far and other than a forced fumble, Brandon Graham has also been unheard of in recent games.
It can’t all fall to Jordan Hicks..the linebacker corp needs to group together out and figure out where they are going wrong. Vinny Curry was taking reps in camp at OLB so could well be a temporary option to see if he can apply some much needed pressure to Drew Brees. But for a team that was so dominant in getting to the Quarterback last year, the situation is unnerving. Especially when you consider that arguably the most powerful linebackers are both sidelined..
In terms of the Offensive Line however, that speaks for itself. Chip failed to replace the players he sent packing and in turn has seen a scenario where backups have become starters..only now, it’s a scenario where injured backups have become starters. Lane Johnson does expect to play on Sunday but he may end up playing in a new position. With Jason Peters now joining Andrew Gardner on the sidelines..the team are scarily thin at a position that’s not only crucial but has decided the success of the entire Offense.
It will be interesting to see how Chip addresses the situation but one thing’s for sure…it’s anything but promising.