What does the future hold for the 13 Eagles who ended 2019 on IR?

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A jaw-dropping 32 players appeared on the Eagles injury report in some capacity last season. That number has been shockingly for way too long, but 13 of those players ended up on IR. With free agency on the horizon, here’s a look ahead at what the future may have in store for those players.

Brandon Brooks

It was heartbreaking to see Brandon’s season come to an end just before the team’s playoff game against Seattle, especially considering he had overcome a torn Achilles suffered in January last year in stunning fashion. Brooks was expected to miss the opening few weeks of 2019, but he instead played close to every offensive snap outside of a pitch-count in week one and did so at an elite level.

Brooks is going absolutely nowhere. The anchor next to Lane Johnson, he’s now the highest-paid guard in the NFL having signed a four-year deal during the season. Hopefully, the future holds nothing but success for a player adored by peers and fans alike.

Corey Clement

Clement appeared to be out in the cold after the team drafted Miles Sanders and traded for Jordan Howard. He took one kickoff return against the Jets, fumbled it, and never touched the ball again. Ouch.

An iconic performance in Super Bowl 52 now seems like it happened years ago and he’s now a pending free agent. If Josh Adams was allowed to walk after leading the team in rushing yards one year ago, it’s hard to imagine Clement returning.

Ronald Darby

When it was announced that the team brought Ronald Darby back for a third season, I stated that it was the worst move of the offseason. Another campaign plagued by injuries, missed tackles, and the same lapses in zone coverage that have haunted him since day one, and unfortunately, that looked to be the case.

Darby has missed 20 games since joining the Eagles and is now a pending free agent. The experiment surely has to be over, with Darby allowed to test free agency waters.

Rudy Ford

The Eagles traded for Ford late in the offseason proceedings, needing a special teams boost…and that’s exactly what he provided. In 10 games, he played in 211 special teams snaps and was more than effective. The 25-year old is still under contract, so it’s hard to see him going anywhere, with the Safety #3 role up for grabs.

Kamu Grugier-Hill

A man who led the Eagles in special teams tackles in back-to-back seasons ahead of 2019, KGH looked set to take on a more defensive role before injury struck. When he did get back on the field, his play was sporadic, but he was used more frequently as a Blitzer, which was nice to see.

But then he suffered a concussion and reportedly lied to the coaching staff in order to play through it. This was a silly decision that could’ve had huge consequences. He eventually ended up on IR.

This is a really interesting case because on one hand, there’s a really strong special teamer with defensive upside, and on the other, someone who struggled with injuries and made a really stupid decision…

It’ll likely be a short deal or free agency waters for KGH.

Daeshon Hall

The man who decimated preseason play barely saw the field in 2019 and then tore his ACL on the final play of the final game. O u c h. Hall has a lot of upside and the Eagles need pass-rushing depth (as always) so it’s likely we see him again in 2020.

DeSean Jackson

This was easily the most frustrating injury case of 2019. The term ‘day-to-day’ is ingrained in my brain, while I now say ‘trending in the right direction’ when describing my love life to my friends. Jackson’s explosive return to Philadelphia was quickly extinguished, and the veteran would spend the next eight weeks nursing an injury he opted against having surgery on.

He then played in one snap against the Chicago Bears, despite a bye week approaching, and worsening the injury to where surgery was needed and consequently ending his season. Lovely.

Jackson is under contract for two more years and should return, but the Eagles really do need to find a more reliable speed-option behind the aging vet.

Malik Jackson

Jackson’s season-ending injury in week one was tough to swallow. It looked like the Eagles had found the perfect replacement for Michael Bennett with a player who can play the 3/5-tech comfortably until disaster struck. Jackson signed a long-term deal with the team and will be back next season. Hopefully, he’ll return with a chip on his shoulder and bring the rampant interior play the team sorely missed in his absence.

Alshon Jeffery

‘Ugh’ would be the perfect word to summarize Alshon’s season. His play clearly took a tumble, with 490 yards and 4 touchdowns telling the story of a year filled with anonymous sources, conspiracies, and play that just looked slower and more clumsy than usual. The Eagles guaranteed Alshon’s salary through 2020 (for some reason) and would have to swallow a big cap-hit, but it’s looking more and more likely that the team part ways as opposed to keeping him. Especially if there is any weight to the ‘anonymous source’ rumors.

Jordan Mailata

This offseason is absolutely crucial for Mailata. His second preseason didn’t show a lot of growth in comparison to the stunning rise we saw in year one, with the Aussie still relying on his power and frame to get him out of sticky situations as opposed to technique. With Jason Peters likely passing the torch and Vaitai potentially moving on, there’s a chance Mailata has been groomed to be the primary backup at tackle. He has two years left on his contract, but this will be a massive year for the former Rugby star, who simply has to shine in Training Camp and beyond if the Eagles do place that kind of trust in him and OL coach Jeff Stoutland.

Joe Ostman

Ostman’s injury was heartbreaking after such a promising offseason, but he’ll be back in his contract year to try and make up for lost time and apply the pressure to guys like Shareef Miller, who will be expected to take a big jump.

Hassan Ridgeway

I was over the moon when the Eagles acquired Ridgeway for a seventh-round pick. It was a move that screamed value and for the most part, it has been. Ridgeway stepped up when Jernigan and Jackson went down and played extremely well, garnering 2 sacks and 4 tackles across a 3 game stretch before suffering the season-ending setback.

He’s now a pending free agent, but it’s hard to imagine the Eagles don’t bring him back, with depth already thin at the position.

Darren Sproles

One of the greatest dual-threat backs of all time has called it a day and hung up the boots on a tremendous career. Thanks for the memories, Darren.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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