Just as things were looking up, the Eagles are right back where they started. Injury concerns now linger over the team as a clash with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks lies over the horizon. Coming off of a 17-10 loss to the Patriots is tough enough, but it looks as though they could be doing so without some key players.
The Eagles lost Lane Johnson for the majority of last night’s game, and the right tackle is currently in concussion protocol stage 1 of 5, per Doug Pederson. Halapoulivaati Vaitai filled in for Johnson last night, but the Eagles Head Coach would later confirm that Andre Dillard will be getting the practice reps this week.
This is a big loss. The Eagles allowed 12 QB hits and 5 sacks to the Patriots and while not fully on the shoulders of Big V, losing Lane Johnson certainly played a role in both that and the lack of rushing dominance.
On that note, it also seems like a coin-toss decision as to whether or not Jordan Howard will be back for next week’s contest. The Eagles were unable to establish the run against a Pats defense that has struggled to contain it this season. Miles Sanders was matched up against Safeties most of the night, Boston Scott couldn’t gain much momentum, and it was just too soon for Ajayi to make his return. Missing Jordan Howard was a bitter pill to swallow, but it could be one the team are preparing to swallow again.
Pederson stated in his press conference today that both Howard and WR Alshon Jeffery are ‘progressing nicely, but wouldn’t dive much deeper into detail. It’s a little early to speculate about a Sunday return.
Alshon hasn’t been spectacular this season, but seeing the offense barely function without a reliable WR1/2 was exhausting. The Eagles really do need their most physical wideout back in the fold sooner rather than later.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside did see a bump in playing time and recorded a nice 19-yard catch, but it wasn’t enough to mask the shortcomings at the position.
The Eagles need as many offensive playmakers back in the running as possible, but there is a strong chance they’re without anywhere between 1-3 of their biggest, come this weekend.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports