Jordan Mailata Could be Headed to Bench to be Eagles' Swing Tackle

Mailata was solid for four games at LT, but with the return of Jason Peters imminent, and Lane Johnson still playing on an ailing ankle, he looks like the odd man out for now
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If Jordan Mailata knows, he isn’t saying.

Left tackle?

Right tackle?

Heck, will the Eagles’ third-year lineman even play at all after three strong games and one, most recently, not so strong game?

“I don’t have any comments on whether I’m playing right or left,” said Mailata following Thursday’s practice as the Eagles prepare to host the Dallas Cowboys in a Sunday night primetime matchup.

“I just try to prepare the best I can at any position, whatever the team needs. As for this week, I don’t really know yet. Nothing’s set in stone. It’s part of the job, whatever the team needs you just need to be prepared for.”

Jason Peters could be activated from Injured Reserve, maybe as soon as Friday, and he will return to the left tackle position that he has made his second home in Philadelphia for the past 11 years.

Head coach Doug Pederson wouldn’t confirm that when he talked with reporters on Wednesday, but he certainly made it sound like Peters would be back at his old post, and not right guard, when he is ready to return.

As for right tackle, Lane Johnson didn’t practice on Wednesday, but he was listed as limited during Thursday’s practice, which was held indoors due to heavy rain throughout the Philadelphia region. 

Pederson is already on record as saying he won’t stand in the way of Johnson playing if he wants to play even though Johnson’s ankle is not 100 percent and an injury that only rest will heal.

If Peters and Johnson play, Mailata will be back on the bench, tough filling a valuable role as the Eagles' top swing tackle, which was the job Halapoulivaati Vaitai had the previous four seasons before leaving for the Detroit Lions in free agency.

“I thought I was doing my job," said Mailata. "I was doing the best I can. Was it perfect? Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t. As for keeping the job, I can only control what I can control. I can only put out to the universe what I give, so it’s not up to me.”

Mailata was asked to rank his best game to his worst game but started with his worst game, and that was last Thursday’s against the New York Giants.

“I think the short turnaround (five days after playing the Ravens) got to me,” said Mailata. “My legs were gassed. I kept trying to push through, push through, and push through.”

He admitted that having not played much football since arriving in 2018, his body, after playing all four games, is very sore, or, to use the Australian term he used for sore - “crook.”

“I have to come in every day to do recovery,” said Mailata. “That’s how I stay on top of things. Wake up at 6, get in here like 6:30, 7, then start doing recovery straight away before practice, and even after practice. It’s something that’s making me feel better every day, and that’s how I’m able to stay on top of my fitness.”

As for the rest of his rankings in games that he played and how he felt he did: San Francisco, he said, was his best, followed by the Ravens then Steelers.

“I’m blasting San Fran because I got my first win in my first start, so I’m going to put that No. 1,” he said.

As for when he might get a chance to top San Fran, or even play again, though, mum was the word from Mailata.

“I’m telling you, anytime I can get into the game, I’m licking my fingers, licking my lips, ready to go,” he said. “It’s such a great feeling to be out there. I understand why people play so long, and why they love the sport. Once I got the taste, I want more. But steady as she goes.”

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