It may be six days away, but the value of a long week is already paying dividends. The Eagles held their first 10/10/10 practice of the week today and both Wendell Smallwood and Lane Johnson returned to action. While the team won’t release an official injury report until Thursday due to the nature of the longer week, various reports have confirmed the inclusion of both offensive players.
Lane Johnson practiced today. He’s been cleared.
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) October 17, 2017
@WSmallwood28 on playing Monday: "Working my way back. I felt good today." Decision will made as week goes along
— Dave Spadaro (@EaglesInsider) October 17, 2017
#Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood said that he expects to play Sunday against the Redskins. Practiced today. Light session.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 17, 2017
Lane Johnson missed the team’s Thursday Night win over Carolina, while Wendell Smallwood has been sidelined since the win over L.A with a knee injury.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai was called up to the plate as a starter and after a wobbly start was able to hold down the right side of the fort and provide enough protection for Carson Wentz to show his prowess in the pocket once again. However the Eagles are considerably better with Johnson in the lineup. Since 2016, the Eagles are 9-2 with their franchise right tackle in the lineup and 2-8 without him. His return will be a huge boost for an Eagles Offense that is already rocking and rolling through 2017.
For Smallwood, it’s a shot at redemption. The Eagles backfield has worked well with Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner filling in for Blount, but in the 5 snaps that Barner was given on Thursday, he totaled just 7 yards. Smallwood’s quick-cutting and new tenacious mentality will provide an injection of explosiveness into a backfield that was beginning to show signs of slowing up when Blount was out of the game.
The Eagles are nearly at full strength on offense, with the concerns now turning onto the other side of the ball. Ronald Darby’s return and the potential debut of Sidney Jones headline the questions in the secondary, while the Eagles worked out three linebackers after Jordan Hicks left the game early with an injury on Thursday Night.
We will have a much clearer idea of who will and won’t be available on Monday Night when the Eagles release their first injury report on Thursday.
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports