O-Line Play Could be One Less Worry for Eagles, even Without Isaac Seumalo

Ed Kracz

PHILADELPHIA – The two Jasons may want to tuck a rabbit’s foot or some other sort of lucky talisman inside their uniform someplace when they line up against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Maybe for the remainder of the season, too.

The Eagles lost another lineman to injury in the loss to the Rams on Sunday, this one left guard Isaac Seumalo, who departed after 25 snaps with a knee injury.

Head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday that Seumalo will miss time and likely end up on Injured Reserve.

The only two projected starters on the line that have remained healthy, so far, are center Jason Kelce and left tackle Jason Peters.

And isn’t that ironic?

The assumption was Peters probably wouldn’t even last this long, two games. He’s 38 and, in recent years, has been hampered by a slew of nicks that have prevented him from either playing a full game or caused him to miss a start or two.

Kelce, meanwhile, continues to be old reliable, on track to make his 83rd consecutive start on Sunday.

Seumalo joins right guard Brandon Brooks, left tackle Andre Dillard, and right tackle Lane Johnson who have had injuries this year, with Dillard out for the year and Brooks gone for the season, too.

Johnson returned against the Rams after August ankle surgery and helped solidify a line that was part of the problem against a Washington Football Team that rang up eight sacks in the opener.

Against the Rams, the Eagles didn’t give up a single sack and Wentz was hit just three times. According to Pro Football Focus, the game DT Aaron Donald had was his worst since 2016. The two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Year did virtually nothing against Philadelphia.

Nate Herbig played much better in his second career start at right guard and even Peters was better in Week 2 than Week 1.

“JP, yeah, JP was improved,” said Pederson. “I think he kind of settled in at left tackle having a full week again, really two weeks of practice. Did a nice job.

“Herbig played really well, and that's no small task blocking 99 (Donald) and some of those guys on the D-Line, but he did a really nice job. Kelce did a nice job. Lane Johnson, it was great to get him back and he did a really good job, and then before Isaac got hurt, playing well.”

Now, Seumalo is out.

Matt Pryor stepped in and finished up for him, but it may be too early to say Pryor will start there against the Bengals. Pederson didn’t exactly give him a glowing endorsement on Monday.

“Pryor came in and actually did some good things,” said Pryor. “It wasn't perfect. There were some calls that he missed, and you could see he and Kelce kind of talking after plays, between plays, whatever, and again, that's just part of being a backup. But overall, those guys … played much better than the week before.”

Jamon Brown was signed last week and he is a veteran of interior line play, having made 47 starts. The job between Peters and Kelce could be his before the week ends.

Still, considering the way in which the season has started at 0-2 and a litany of reasons for it, it’s a good sign that maybe now, even with Seumalo out, the offensive line can be scratched off that list of reasons.

A pencil, not a pen, would be the recommended though, just in case it has to be erased.

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