Breaking down the Eagles' injuries and how they affect the roster
The Eagles have yet to release any additional information about their Sunday spate of injuries, as head coach Doug Pederson said the team would as he wrapped up his Monday news conference, but there are reports that receiver Alshon Jeffery has a calf strain and is likely to miss the team’s next two games.
That those two games come in a span of the next 10 days doesn’t allow much time for healing.
The groin injury that prevented DeSean Jackson from playing more than 11 snaps in Atlanta is still a mystery. The Eagles could choose to sit him Sunday when they host the Detroit Lions and play him four days later in Green Bay, or sit him against the Lions and play him against the Packers, or sit him out both games and get him and probably Jeffery ready for a difficult stretch of October games.
VIDEO: Doug Pederson on Nelson Agholor's night
The Eagles will being the month with a home game against the New York Jets, but after that they hit the road for three straight games, going to Minnesota, Dallas and Buffalo.
“That's the chess match we have to find out in the next couple days,” said Pederson. “We have a couple games here now in 11 or 12 days. We'll make it work. That's just what we do. We find a way, we make it work, we coach the guys up that are going to play, and we go play.”
Perhaps the biggest long-term concerns are tight end Dallas Goedert and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.
Pederson confirmed that Goedert’s calf injury is the same one that sidelined him after the first preseason game. If it’s not right by now, will it ever be right?
As for Jernigan, his absence due to a foot injury will likely be lengthy and further weakens a defensive tackle room that was one of the team’s strengths coming out of training camp, so much so that they were forced to waive a reliable member of that unit, Treyvon Hester, who was claimed by the Washington Redskins. Hester is a spare part of Washington’s stout D line group, and played only one snap on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
In order to add players, however, other players will need to be released because it is unlikely Jackson and Jeffery goes on Injured Reserve.
Goedert and Jernigan could, though.
Here’s a breakdown each injury and what it could potentially mean:
Jeffery and Jackson. If one or both are out the next game or two, the Eagles could opt to promote Greg Ward, Jr., from the practice squad or seek help in free agency, with both Jordan Matthews and Mike Wallace available. Matthews and Wallace were with the Eagles last season.
It also means that Mack Hollins and rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside will be a much bigger part of the game-planning. Neither player was part of the game plan, so they were thrown into a fire that was way too hot in Atlanta. JJAW played 75 of the team’s 81 offensive snaps but had only one catch for four yards. Hollins had a career-high five catches for 50 yards.
“If you’re to look at my call sheet this morning you’ll see a lot of scratch outs on plays and different things,” said Pederson. “It’s interesting if you watch the game like we did this morning, (tight end) Zach (Ertz) is telling guys where to go, Nellie (receiver Nelson Agholor) is telling guys, we’re moving guys.
“Our pieces are moving and we’re putting guys in position who didn’t practice in those positions during the week and still had a chance at the end of the game. Took the lead and had a chance, so my hat’s off to those guys for hanging in there.”
Then there’s Nelson Agholor. He had eight catches for 107 yards, including a fourth-down touchdown catch from four yards and a clutch 43-yard reception in the final 90 seconds that went for 43 yards. But he also had a pivotal drop down the sideline in the final two minutes that could have potentially become the game-winning score.
Pederson said he spoke to Agholor but the good and bad from the receiver’s night.
“I thought he played really well,” said the coach. “He played basically two spots, having to move around. It just shows his mental capacity with the offense, where he is. He made some outstanding catches as well.
“I told him after the game one play isn’t going to define him or our season. It’s week two in the National Football League, we have a bunch of football left. He’s a great player for us. I told him to keep his head up, keep working and we’re going to find more ways to win these games than lose them.”
Goedert. Zach Ertz played every offensive snap because the Eagles dressed just two tight ends, and the Eagles even had to burn a timeout late in the game when Ertz got dinged off and had to come out for a play. The timeout allowed Ertz to come right back, otherwise the Eagles wouldn’t have had a tight end on the field.
If they need to add somebody, it could be Alex Ellis, who is on the practice squad and played two offensive snaps in the season opener, or Josh Perkins, who is also on the practice squad.
Corey Clement (shouler). Clement has taken an offensive snap in the first two games, so his loss wouldn’t be that damaging. He returns kick, but Miles Sanders can handle those chores. If worse comes to worse, the Eagles also have Boston Scott on the practice squad.
Jernigan. His loss leaves the Eagles with Fletcher Cox, Hassan Ridgeway, and Akeem Spence, who was signed off the street last week. Bruce Hector is on the practice squad and could be promoted. Muhammed Wilkerson is a free agent, and could be a possibility.