Matt Pryor Placed on Reserve/COVID-19 List, Eagles Rule Out 7 for Sunday
PHILADELPHIA - Eagles offensive lineman Matt Pryor was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday and ruled out of Sunday's Week 6 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Pryor, who has been starting at right guard, is one of seven players Philadelphia ruled out on Friday, a laundry list that also includes right tackle Lane Johnson, who continues to deal with a troublesome ankle that required "tightrope" surgery in August.
SI's EagleMaven was the first to report that Johnson could be shut down for Sunday's game against the Ravens and the game against the New York Giants four days later.
That means the right side of the Philadelphia offensive line against the No. 1 ranked scoring defense in the NFL will be veteran Jamon Brown, who was signed off the Chicago practice squad on Sept. 15, and rookie Jack Driscoll, who also started the season opener in Washington at RT when Johnson was struggling with swelling issues.
"In the case of Matt Pryor, just like some of our players here recently have fallen into a little bit of the illness issue, illness protocol with him, so we're taking all the precautions and making sure that he's safe and healthy," said coach Doug Pederson. "He's going to miss this game and Jamon Brown is going to start at right guard."
Pryor did not test positive for COVID-19, something first reported by ESPN and later confirmed by a league source to SI's EagleMaven. The TCU product was in close contact with someone outside the NovaCare Complex who tested positive for the virus and will not be back in the mix until going through the league-mandated protocol.
Pryor is the first Eagles player to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list since the preseason when Johnson, along with Nate Gerry and Jordan Mailata, missed some time because of the virus. He was one of four players listed with an "illness" designation on Thursday's injury report along with Brown, linebacker Shaun Bradley, and defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway.
Pederson was also required to quarantine when he tested positive for the virus in the early days of training camp.
"We have to take every precaution, whether a guy has an upset stomach or a headache or whatever it could be - it doesn't even have to be COVID-related. We have to take everything seriously and we've got to protect the entire team and the organization," said the coach.
Earlier this week on a conference call the NFL's chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, explained that the league would be isolating players with COVID-19 symptoms even if tests are negative until the virus can be completely ruled out, even if it means missed games.
The Eagles also ruled out receivers DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery, who is still ramping up in practice following a lengthy recovery from Lisfranc surgery. The organization decided not to place Jeffery on the physically unable to perform list to start of the season, assuming he would be back before Week 7.
"When you don't put a guy like Alshon on PUP - we hopefully anticipated him coming back within the six weeks, and it has taken a little bit longer, but again, you guys know that I want to make sure that he's 100 percent," said Pederson. "He's just now getting back into practice, right? He's done some individual work and now he's into practice.
"I mean, listen, I think medically Alshon's case, our case, we were hopeful that within the six weeks he would have been back. I can't second-guess the decision, obviously, but he is getting close, and we're excited about that."
The others ruled out were on the defensive side: starting linebacker Duke Riley (rib), who led the Eagles with 12 tackles in Pittsburgh last week, safety Marcus Epps (rib), and cornerback Avonte Maddox (ankle).
Cornerback Darius Slay is listed as questionable but is expected to play against the Ravens if he remains symptom-free from a concussion suffered at Pittsburgh last Sunday.
Meanwhile, veteran safety Will Parks, a Philadelphia native who signed with the Eagles as a free agent in the offseason, is expected to be activated off injured reserve on Saturday and make his debut.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM and every Monday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SportsMap Radio. He’s also the host of Extending the Play on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
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