Jamon Brown Out, Could Quinton Spain be in?
Doug Pederson didn’t want to reveal anything when asked about who is guards would be on Thursday night against the Giants. The Eagles coach said on Wednesday morning he would keep that information close to his vest.
The reason why he chose to do so became clear later in the day when the team released Jamon Brown after an abysmal Eagles debut at right guard last Sunday against the Ravens and added tight end Jason Croom from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
Matt Pryor is expected to come off the team's Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, at which time the Eagles will have to make a corresponding roster move to make room for him.
Pederson said earlier in the week that it would be likely Pryor would serve as a backup should he be eligible to return, which would make Sua Opet the starting right guard against the Giants.
"It's difficult this week because it's a short week," said the coach on Monday regarding Pryor, and if he would start should he be removed from the Covid list. "If we get him back, it's hard to get the reps to be ready to be a starter. It would be different if we had a full week and we're playing on Sunday or Monday. It's just something that we have to look at and evaluate because some of these other guys are going to be getting the bulk of the reps (Monday) and (Tuesday)."
Meanwhile, an intriguing option shook loose on Wednesday when the Buffalo Bills released guard Quinton Spain.
Spain, 29, started every game last year and did not allow a sack. He signed a three-year contract extension this past offseason and started with the Bills for the first two weeks of the season before being benched.
He has had some knee issues this season but is believed to be ready to play. Spain had started 58 straight games with the Titans and Bills.
Guard isn’t the only other issue on the Eagles’ offensive line.
The team appears as if it is comfortable starting Lane Johnson at right tackle after Johnson was a full participant in Wednesday’s walkthrough.
The need for Johnson to play, despite being hampered all season long with swelling in an ankle that was operated on in August, was made greater after his backup, Jack Driscoll, was ruled out of Thursday’s game.
Had Driscoll been available, Johnson may be sitting out, since a source indicated that was the initial plan in order to have him ready to go for the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 1.
With Brett Toth the only other option to replace Johnson/Driscoll, it will be interesting to see if Johnson can play from start to finish.
“As far as Lane goes, I do feel comfortable,” said Pederson. “Obviously with him missing last week and this being a short week getting him the rest, I do feel comfortable and confident. Obviously, anything is possible, so don't quote me on that.”
Toth has been with the Eagles for just two weeks but had to play the final 17 snaps after Driscoll’s in-game ankle injury.
The Eagles protected sixth-round rookie tackle Prince Tega Wanogho on the practice squad and it is likely he will be elevated to the roster against the Giants to be the swing tackle, but Tega Wanogho played left tackle at Auburn so if he is needed the Eagled may move Jordan Mailata from left to right to accommodate the rookie should an emergency arise.
In addition to Driscoll, the Eagles also ruled out tight end Zach Ertz (ankle), defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quad), receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf, foot), running back Miles Sanders (knee), and safety K’Von Wallace (shoulder).
Receiver DeSean Jackson was a full participant in Wednesday’s walkthrough, the first time he’s been listed a full participant since suffering a hamstring injury in the first half of the Eagles’ game with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 27, so the veteran receiver looks on track to play after missing three straight games.
Jeffery will miss yet another game and had a calf injury added to the injury report in addition to the foot surgery he had last year.
The Eagles have carried Jeffery on the 53-man roster all season long, choosing not to place him on the Physically Unable to Perform list or even Injured Reserve, which, in either case, would have opened another roster spot.
Instead, with Jeffery taking up room and not being available, the Eagle have lost seventh-round defensive end Casey Toohill when he was claimed before he could make it through waivers after being released with the hope of getting him to the practice squad, and promising undrafted free agent tight end Noah Togiai, who had a solid camp but was released on cutdown day before the regular season began and was claimed by the Indianapolis Colts.
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