With Lane Johnson's knee injury, Jordan Mailata will get plenty of work at RT
Eagles offensive lineman Jordan Mailata had never been on a football field for as long as he was Thursday night. The right tackle played in all four quarters against the Tennessee Titans, totaling 53 of the team’s 57 offensive snaps.
“I was sore,” said Mailata when asked following Saturday’s practice how he felt afterward. “Still sore; then to come here (Saturday), full-padded practice for two hours, 20 minutes…really sore. Leave it at that.”
There will be plenty more snaps to come for the mammoth, 6-8, 360-pound former rugby star, with the surprising news that right tackle Lane Johnson has a knee injury that will probably cost him the rest of the preseason. The injury, however, isn’t believed to be serious enough to prevent him from playing in the regular-season opener next month.
VIDEO: Jordan Mailata talks about the preseason opener and his 53 snaps
Until then, Mailata will get snaps with the first-team and perhaps even with the second team.
“I’m just doing what I’m told, trying to be that next man, have that mentality and try to be accountable to my teammates,” said Mailata.
Who backs up Mailata or plays late third quarters and fourth quarters in the preseason isn’t exactly as clear as it was when camp began in late July.
The Eagles waived/injured tackle Casey Tucker and on Friday traded away tackle Ryan Bates to Buffalo for defensive end Eli Harold.
“We know Big V (Halapoulivaati Vaitai) can play tackle,” said head coach Doug Pederson. “We know he can play guard now. We definitely wanted to see him at guard the other night. The other one is (Matt) Pryor. Pryor is another guy that we can move inside and outside. He played tackle the other night, too. We have some versatility there.”
Mailata held up extremely well against the Titans, who played a lot of their first team defense for at least one quarter and some, even longer. It was quite a turnaround for the big fella, who oftentimes during training camp seemed overmatched and lost at times trying to adjust to moving from the left side of the line to the right side.
It sounded like Mailata boiled away all the blocking schemes and line calls and kept it simple.
"I didn’t know any of them, " he said. "I just blocked a guy in a different color."
It wasn’t a Picasso performance, but it wasn’t paint-by-numbers, either.
“He did some good things,” said Pederson. “We were pleased with his performance. It wasn't perfect. There were one or two there, just little mental errors. Overall, I felt like he came out with an eagerness, with an aggressiveness, and really showed the type of player that I think he's capable of being, and what we've seen in him, and it came out in the game.”
Mailata said he hadn’t seen the film from the game, but after a few minutes of answering reporters’ questions following practice, he was headed into the meeting room for an afternoon session with his linemates and head line coach Jeff Stoutland. He believes he played well on Thursday, though.
“It was a great opportunity,” said Mailata. “It really was. I think I did good for the most part, but I’m not satisfied. I know my technique in some places were a bit messy, have to clean that up.”
The time for polishing that up is now, and he will get an advance course now that Johnson won’t be seen again until September.