Eagles, Seahawks Could be Without Key Players on Sunday
Alshon Jeffery’s ankle is still sore, Nelson Agholor’s knee hurts, and who knows what’s going on with Jordan Howard’s shoulder.
Perhaps these Eagles are more suited to serve as examples in an anatomy class at the University of Pennsylvania than on the field Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. All three are listed as questionable.
Right tackle Lane Johnson (concussion) and safety Rudy Ford (abdomen) have been ruled out.
The Seahawks may be without defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is questionable with a hip injury. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said on Friday that Clowney, who missed all three practices this week, was away from the team on Friday getting the injury looked at and will meet the team in Philadelphia.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, meanwhile, sounded optimistic on Friday morning that Jeffery and Agholor might play.
“They're both trending in the right direction,” said Pederson. “We know that in this sport and in this game, you have to play sometimes a little beat up and both these guys are tough guys and fully expect that.”
As for Howard, Pederson sounded more pessimistic. Howard’s injury is being called a stinger, which is a nerve issue.
Pederson said the injury was “tricky” and “tough.”
“Until he's cleared for contact and until I get more updates from our medical team and the doctors, right now he's still day-to-day and working through the individual portion of practice,” said Pederson.
One player, whose name won’t be used so he doesn’t get in trouble, said to me in the locker room that he believes Howard’s injury is more serious than just a stinger. He said he feels there is something more to it.
If Howard can’t play, there will likely be an expanded role for Jay Ajayi, who was signed last Friday and did not play in Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen since Ajayi hasn’t played in more than 13 months and is coming off another ACL surgery.
“He's had a good week, got him mixed in with the offense this week and got him up to speed.” said Pederson of Ajayi. “He's up on protections and he’s up on the run game, so expect to play him a little bit more possibly, yes.”
The trouble could be at the receiver spot if neither Jeffery nor Agholor can play. That would leave them only with Jordan Matthews, Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Ford, who has played special teams all year but had a 15-snap role on defense last week for the first time this season, could be placed on Injured Reserve, which would allow the Eagles to call up a receiver from the practice squad, where there are three of them: Greg Ward, Robert Davis and Marcus Green.