2020 has been a challenging year, and the Eagles know this all too well. Despite a surprising upset against the New Orleans Saints, the Birds are walking into this week’s game even more depleted. Here’s an update on who’s out, and who will be taking their places.
Rodney McCleod Has A Second ACL Tear
After Sunday’s win versus the Saints, Doug Pederson had to break the news that Rodney McCleod will be out for the season due to an ACL tear.
This is McCleod’s second ACL tear in the past three years. His first limited him to just three games played in 2018.
One silver lining is that fourth-rounder K’von Wallace will be taking over at starting free safety. There was promising talk of the rookie back in camp, and in a down season like this, seeing what young players can offer is important.
This injury also brings attention to yet another questionable roster move: waiving Will Parks. The Philadelphia native was picked up by the Broncos and has nine tackles and a sack in two games played for Denver thus far.
Parks never seemed to get a fair shot with the Birds, playing just 13% of defensive snaps in six games this season.
It begs the question of what the Eagles saw that other teams didn’t, considering three teams placed claims on him when he hit waivers.
Is Parks this year’s L.J. Fort? Even if Parks doesn’t ball out every game for the Broncos, he would have provided solid depth for the Birds that would be even more crucial now.
Banged Up Secondary Also Includes Avonte Maddox, Darius Slay
The secondary woes didn’t stop at McCleod, as Pederson mentioned that Avonte Maddox would miss some time. Additionally, Darius Slay is set to miss Sunday’s game versus the Cardinals due to a concussion. For Slay, it’ll be his first missed game of the season.
Once again, depth is a killer. With Craig James and Cre’Von Leblanc on the IR, Robey Nickell-Coleman will now be relied upon more, which is worrisome because of his continued poor play throughout the year.
Besides RNC, who’s left? Kevin Seymour and Michel Jacquet, in addition too Jameson Houston and Elijah Riley (both of who were promoted from the practice squad this week) are all available.
Going against two tough receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk will be quite the test for this group.
Jason Peter’s Hall-Of-Fame Career Is Coming To An End
Before the Saints game, the team announced that Jason Peters was out for the season with toe surgery. It’s a shame Peter’s amazing run with the Eagles has to end this way.
However, most logical fans had to have seen this coming. Even before this year, Peters routinely came out at various times during games, a clear sign of his decline. A serious injury was very possible, if not inevitable.
Even with the red flags, Howie Roseman went ahead and signed Peters following Brandon Brooks’ injury.
Now, that decision is coming back to bite them. Were there better options at the time? Perhaps not, and Peters knew the team and system well.
Still, “ifs and buts” are just that, and the reality is Peters has given the Eagles very little value in exchange for his desired raise.
The left tackle will be honored in Canton eventually, and fans will always be grateful for his play. But his ending in Philly will leave a sour taste in many mouths.
Jack Driscoll Makes Tackle A Question Mark
Jack Driscoll, who has filled in nicely for the absent Lane Johnson, is now out due to a knee injury. Matt Pryor, who started at right tackle in week 12, will take over for Driscoll.
The Eagles’ offensive line has been a revolving door this season due to injuries and poor play. Very rarely does the same starting lineup take the field two weeks in a row, and that won’t stop any time soon.
The line will be a major concern heading into the offseason. Even if the starters are set, their injuries are persistent enough to where more reliable backups need to be considered.
For now, the team will look for their current fill-ins to try and do their best to limit the pressure in order to give Jalen Hurts the best chance to succeed.