Eagles will be missing 4 key players against Vikings

GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 12: Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry (24) warms up during Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles started the season with a win, but it was hardly convincing. Now, needing a bounceback in front of their home crows, they go into a short week shorthanded. The injury report after week 1 raised some crucial questions for Nick Sirianni, and the answers aren’t all that positive.

After releasing their final injury report ahead of Thursday night’s game, it became apparent that the Eagles will be without 3 key players.

CB James Bradberry

Bradberry is arguably the most important cog in the injury machine this week. The Eagles’ CB2 is still in concussion protocol and as a result, will miss Thursday’s game.

The former Giant had a fantastic debut season in midnight green, allowing just a 45% completion rate when targeted as well as recording 3 interceptions while surrendering only 2 touchdowns.

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry (24) scores on a 27-yard interception for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)

While Darius Slay did a fantastic job of pocketing Justin Jefferson last year, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to do the same again. Even if he can, Jordan Addison had an explosive season-opener and is bound to challenge whoever covers for Bradberry.

It’s likely to be Josh Jobe, although I’d happily put money on it being rookie CB Kelee Ringo. Whoever is tasked with filling Bradbery’s shoes is going to have a tough day at the office.

Reed Blankenship

Further complicating the above issue is that the Eagles will be without their top safety, Reed Blankenship. The former UDFA suffered a rib injury and will be out Thursday.

Justin Evans struggled during his first game as an Eagle and Terrell Edmunds might be needed to cover the MIKE spot where Nakobe Dean once played.

The Georgia LB was placed on IR earlier today, meaning that the Eagles are also without the man at the heart and soul of their defense who recorded 7 tackles in week 1.

This leaves the Eagles short on depth at both spots, which means we can expect to see a healthy dose of Sydney Brown. The Illinois product exploded onto the scene in his first NFL appearance by making a spearing tackle on special teams. If there is ever a silver-lining in all this, it’s knowing that we’ll get to see plenty of one of the most anticipated players in this draft class.

New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85) is pursued by Philadelphia Eagles safety Reed Blankenship, left, as he scores a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Mac Jones in the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

However, having to handle T.J Hockenson and flurry of rapid wideouts without your starting corner, safety, and MIKE, is an almighty task and is going to put tremendous pressure on the front 7.

Kenny Gainwell

RB Kenny Gainwell is also set to be inactive on Thursday. Some fans won’t be too mad at this given his lion’s share of carries in week 1 resulted in a clear shortage of carries for D’Andre Swift.

Swift is now going to get pushed to the top of the depth chart and there is bound to be some opportunities for the previously benched Rashaad Penny.

The Eagles have enough depth at RB to cover for Gainwell’s injury, which is more than can be said for Safety and linebacker.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 30: Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell (14) during Philadelphia Eagles training camp on July 30, 2021 at Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire