The cart came out three times to carry injured Philadelphia Eagles players off the field in the second preseason game. Everyone collectively held their breaths to hear positive updates on Tyrie Cleveland, Zech McPhearson, and Moro Ojomo.
Well, not everyone. Fans at Lincoln Financial Field were hearing it on social media for doing the wave while Cleveland was laying motionless on the turf. Chalk it up as first-time fans at an exhibition game not paying attention. They probably didn’t realize the magnitude of the injury. Speaking of that, McPhearson has been ruled out for the year.
The third-year cornerback suffered a torn Achilles against Cleveland, according to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin. He’s out for at least seven to eight months but plans to return sooner. McPhearson started training camp as the backup nickel cornerback behind Avonte Maddox before working on the outside for the first two preseason games. Undrafted cornerback Mario Goodrich is expected to take his spot on the depth chart.
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There was no immediate update given on Cleveland, although it’s hard to see him returning for the rest of the preseason. The fourth-year receiver drove his head hard into the ground while trying to make a diving catch in the third quarter.
The Eagles ruled it a neck injury and added that he had “movement in all his extremities.” It was a scary scene as teammates crowded around the cart in support. Cleveland was enjoying a great preseason — 6 catches for 72 yards — and angling for a spot as WR5 on the 53-man roster.
Later in the second half, Ojomo snapped his head into the ground after awkwardly colliding with teammate Tristin McCollum. They were attempting to make a tackle on Browns quarterback Kellen Mond. Ojomo, a seventh-round pick out of Texas, gave a thumbs-up sign to the crowd as the cart carried him off the field. The Eagles ruled it a neck injury, adding that Ojomo had “movement in all his extremities.”
Head coach Nick Sirianni provided an injury update on Cleveland and Ojomo after the 18-18 tie with Cleveland. He was still waiting for more information from the training staff.
“I haven’t talked to the doctors yet, but it sounds like they are moving around. I don’t know anything else besides that,” Sirianni told reporters. “You never want to see that. Your heart goes out to everyone that gets hurt in a game because they are working so hard to make the team. That is tough for the team, for myself, for the coaches because you care about these guys and want them to succeed. Then to have injuries, it’s always tough. A lot of guys playing a lot of plays. It was a long game with a lot of plays.”
It was a bizarre night for the Eagles and they were lucky to walk away with a tie. Marcus Mariota struggled to run the offense in the first half, then the injuries started piling up. They avoided disaster when rookie stud Nolan Smith crashed his left shoulder into the turf in the first half.
The first-rounder played one more snap before walking over to the medical tent. He was diagnosed with a shoulder injury but everything checked out fine. Afterward, Smith revealed he was pulled for precautionary reasons and the injury was related an old college injury and surgery on his pectoral muscle.
“I stayed in because it needs to get loose,” Smith said. “If you ever have surgery and working off of rehab and then coming back to play football, most people don’t know that it’s just little things. I’d say it wasn’t even nothing that I’m worried about. I’m just ready to go play next week, train for the Colts.”
Slot receiver Olamide Zaccheaus (shoulder) and backup center Josh Andrews (ankle) also left the game early due to injury. They didn’t appear to be serious ailments but expect more updates in the coming days. The Eagles will return to the practice field on Saturday after getting a much-needed day off.
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