DeSean Jackson is the deep threat the Eagles need

DeSean Jackson is the deep threat the Eagles need

Eagles Injury Report, Week 7: Carson Wentz limited; Lane Johnson among 7 players who didnt practice

Share Share Eagles Injury Report: Carson Wentz limited; Lane Johnson among 7 players who didnt practice tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images The Philadelphia Eagles released their first official injury report on Wednesday in advance of their Week 7 game against the Carolina Panthers.

Seven players (over 13% of the roster) did not practice: right tackle Lane Johnson, running back Darren Sproles, cornerback Sidney Jones, cornerback Rasul Douglas, safety Corey Graham, linebacker Nathan Gerry, and linebacker D.J. Alexander.

Johnson is missing time due to a high ankle sprain. One would think hell be OK for Sundays game since he was able to tough out a Thursday night matchup last week. Id imagine the Eagles are just resting him early in the week.

Sproles is still dealing with the same hamstring injury thats kept him out for five games now. Doug Pederson described Sproles as day-to-day. Howard Eskin suggested Sproles might return this week but that doesnt seem likely unless the veteran running back returns to action tomorrow.

With the Eagles needing secondary help, the proposition of stealing another teams safety or corner is tempting. Donte Jackson has shown some ability as a rookie; he already has three picks this season. NFL quarterbacks have a 54.0 passer rating when targeting him. Only four corners rank better in that category. Safeties Mike Adams and Eric Reid are capable players but nothing overly special.

Pederson indicated Jones could miss multiple games when he said the Eagles slot corner is week-to-week. It remains to be seen exactly how the coaching staff plans to replace him in Philadelphias nickel defense. The Eagles could put Avonte Maddox in the slot and have Douglas play safety again. Or they could have the recently re-signed Dexter McDougle play on the inside and keep Maddox on the back end. Moving Jalen Mills to the nickel role would allow Douglas to play on the outside with Maddox staying at safety. Well have to see how this goes on Sunday.

Carolina Panthers news and links 10/17/18

Pederson said Graham is day-to-day. It sounds like the veteran safety could miss another game. His potential absence makes the Eagles even thinner in the secondary.

Luke Kuechly is the face of the Panthers defense. The veteran middle linebacker is a real stud. Kuechly is a tackling machine and he can be counted on in coverage as well. And hes hardly the only good linebacker on the team. Thomas Davis is also very talented. With that said, I hardly think the Eagles biggest need is at linebacker with Jordan Hicks and Bradham playing well.

Gerry and Alexander missed the Eagles vs. Giants game last Thursday. Looks like they could be out against the Panthers as well. Being without them hurt the Eagles depth at linebacker and special teams.

Four players were limited in practice: quarterback Carson Wentz, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, left tackle Jason Peters, and defensive end Derek Barnett.

Panthers open as 4.5-point underdogs vs. Eagles for Week 7 matchup | Tim Weaver, Panthers WireThe Panthers will be taking on another NFC East foe this week as they travel to Philadelphia to face the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles.

Video: Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles | Week 7 Game Preview | Move the Sticks

Wentz was limited due to back spasms but reports indicate its nothing to worry about. Hes expected to be a full participant during Thursdays practice.

Feel free to discuss the links above, or use this thread to chat about (almost) anything you want: video games, food, movies, non-football sports, you name it. As long as its allowed by the sites ToS, its fair game here.

Ngata returned to practice after missing the Eagles last two games. Philadelphia really needs him to be able to play because Fletcher Cox and Treyvon Hester are the only other two full-time defensive tackles on the 53-man roster.

Share Share The Scratching Post: Carolina Panthers news and links 10/17/18 tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Greetings, internet users. Welcome to The Scratching Post.

Carolina Panthers face their toughest road test

Peters is expected to play this week despite suffering a biceps injury against the Giants. The Eagles limited his workload to give him some rest.

Barnett was able to play against the Giants after sitting out in Week 5 so I imagine hell be ready for this weeks game as well. Likely just another case of the Eagles taking it easy on injured players early in the week.

In other injury news, Tim Jernigan was seen watching practice from the sidelines for the first time since he got hurt in the offseason. Maybe thats a good sign moving forward? Its worth noting that Jernigan is now eligible to return to practice, though theres no firm timetable indicating if/when thatll take place. He remains on the reserve/non-football injury list in the meantime.

Carson Wentz On Star Rise Again At QB – PE.comWere four games into the new beginning of Carson Wentz, Franchise Quarterback, and its safe to say that the production is impressive. Wentz has thrown eight touchdown passes and only one interception. Hes completed 68.4 percent of his passes, by far the highest number in his career. The timing is there, the football IQ has only grown greater, and the mobility has been as good as ever. Wentz is back in full flight, and if anyone needed convincing his first touchdown pass in Thursday nights win over the New York Giants was the ticket. On a third-and-7 play from the New York 13-yard line, Wentz escaped the pocket and rolled right and as he approached the sideline Wentz threw back across his body into the middle of the back of the end zone, completing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. It was amazing.

LB D.J. Alexander (quad)CB Rasul Douglas (not injury related)LB Nathan Gerry (ankle, knee)S Corey Graham (hamstring)OT Lane Johnson (ankle)CB Sidney Jones (hamstring)RB Darren Sproles (knee)

Heres what our colleagues over at Cat Scratch Reader had to say about the Panthers injury report:

Minor Moves – Iggles BlitzAvonte Maddox is needed at FS to replace Rodney McLeod. He is also needed in the slot to replace Sidney Jones. Maddox is a good young player, but he cant be in two spots at once so the Eagles have a decision to make. They can play Maddox at FS in the base and then move him down to the slot in 3 and 4-receiver sets. Rasul Douglas could then slide into the FS spot in those looks. The Eagles could put Douglas at LCB and move Jalen Mills to the slot, leaving Maddox to play only FS. McDougle now gives the coaches another option. He could play in the slot, leaving Maddox to play FS and Douglas to be the top backup CB. McDougle was with the Lions this summer, but hasnt played this year. He is at his best in the slot and does have experience in this scheme.

The Panthers were missing a few players today, but nothing stands out as anything to worry about yet. Kyle Love injured his shoulder last Sunday, so well keep an eye on that story and see how it develops throughout the week. Hopefully hell be available on Sunday in Philadelphia, though. Hes a key cog to the defensive line rotation and the Panthers need all the bodies they can get up front.

Best and worst QBs of Week 6: Wentz, Dak star … Eli doesnt – ESPNAfter back-to-back middling weeks in which the Eagles went 0-2, Wentz responded with a career-best 95.9 Total QBR in Week 6 against the Giants. No matter how you evaluate his effort, he looked great. The most important aspect was avoiding negative plays, however. Wentz was sacked only once and had positive expected points added on 30 of his 42 action plays (71 percent), the highest rate of his career. Wentz also was an incredible 13-of-14 on third down with nine of those 13 completions going for a first down. Of quarterbacks who attempted at least 14 third-down attempts, none has a completion rate that high since Kyle Orton matched Wentzs 13-for-14 performance in Week 14 of 2014.

S Mike Adams (rest)DE Mario Addison (rest)LB Ben Jacobs (not injury related)DT Kyle Love (shoulder)DE Julius Peppers (rest)LB Andre Smith (hamstring)

“Right now, we do have a plan, but Im not going to disclose the plan obviously in lieu of the game and game week and all that,” Pederson said. “There is a plan. Ive talked to [Eagles defensive coordinator] Jim [Schwartz] and [Eagles defensive line coach] Chris [Wilson] and we feel comfortable with that plan.

A season ago, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Carolina Panthers in a very entertaining Thursday night game on the road on a short week. This year, coming off of a Thursday night game, the Eagles will have a few extra days to prepare for this team. 

As we noted prior to the Titans game earlier this season, while the Eagles have done an outstanding job of stopping running backs in their tracks (Saquon Barkley aside), they have given up some plays to quarterbacks escaping the pocket. Here is what some running-capable quarterbacks have done against the Eagles since 2017, in chronological order:

Gerry was out with a knee injury on a short week, but apparently that injury is still bothering him. The Eagles will be thin at linebacker, so expect to see a lot more of LaRoy Reynolds on special teams and as the No. 4 linebacker if Gerry and Alexander cant go.

In that Titans game, while Marcus Mariota had 10 rushes for “only” 46 yards, he had a key 17-yard run on 3rd and 19 in overtime, which led to a manageable 4th and 2 that the Titans converted. He also ran for a 2-yard touchdown in that game.

Johnson was listed as questionable on the Philadelphia Eagles injury report with an ankle sprain, putting his status in jeopardy for Thursdays game against the New York Giants. he played well in the contest, but the Eagles are giving Johnson rest in practice.

Panthers open as 4.5-point underdogs vs. Eagles for Week 7 matchup

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Alexander has been on the injury report a few times in 2018, but has played every game up until Thursday. The Eagles signed Tre Sullivan to help out on special teams. Sullivan and Deiondre Hall will see more time on special teams if Alexander is out.

The Panthers are a team that loves to run with their quarterback, which isnt necessarily a great idea for the long-term health of Cam Newton, but in the short term puts a strain on opposing defenses. As noted in the chart above, Newton had a good day running the football against the Eagles last season, when he ran for 71 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Philadelphia Eagles: Surprise updates on Jason Peters, Mack Hollins

“Cam Newton has opened up every design run that you can imagine, and theyve really ramped up their designed quarterback runs this year over anything they have done in the past,” said Jim Schwartz on Monday.

“Yeah, but when hes sitting there like this, hes still a runner,” Schwartz said. “Hes protected like a passer, but he can run at any time, not just when hes out of the pocket. They have designed runs that are almost Wildcat-type plays. Hes taken direct snap and running quarterback power and quarterback counter and things like that. If hes in a passing posture, he gets protection. If hes running, then he doesnt, but, again, sometimes you have a hard time deciphering between the two.”

“Theres a lot of teams that will run zone read stuff in the red zone or on a short yardage play. But Carolina, I dont think you can put any kind of constraint on down and distance. Third-down and whatever, you still got to handle the quarterbacks designed runs, second-and-20, I think last night they had second-and-17 or second-and-20, and they ran the quarterback. Theres a lot of other teams you can take him off your radar in those situations; not in this game. Every time that ball is snapped, whether its designed run or just an off-schedule scramble, were going to have to account for him.”

“You hit them in the air you dont have to contort your body around, but a quarterback in the pocket, its a totally different story. It does make it difficult, and Ill say this, particularly this week when you talk about a six-foot-five, 250-pound quarterback who is hard enough to tackle, just tackle him alone, but also worried about him and potentially getting a roughing the quarterback, then you also add all their designed runs.

The Panthers love to throw the ball to Christian McCaffrey as something of an extension of the run game. In his 21-game career, McCaffrey already has 114 receptions:

Michael Bennett was called for another roughing the passer penalty in the Philadelphia Eagles win over the New York Giants, his second roughing the passer call in two games. This hit on Eli Manning wasnt as egregious as Bennetts penalty on Kirk Cousins against the Minnesota Vikings, but it was still a 15-yard penalty for what looked like a clear hit.

Video: Philadelphia Eagles Doug Pederson talks potential addition, game with Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers – 10/21/18 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

While McCaffrey has catches in bulk, his long reception on the season is a measly 18 yards. The Eagles wont mind if the Panthers dink and dunk all day. Eventually, theyll create a tackle for loss, a sack, or a penalty that will put teams like that behind the sticks, creating 3rd and long situations.

This is what the Eagles will be watching for with Newton, who has been known to take off over the past eight years. Schwartz has caught what the Panthers offense tries to accomplish with Newton before he takes off, which is why the Eagles need to abide by the controversial roughing the passer rule this week.

Video: Philadelphia Eagles Doug Pederson talks potential addition, game with Panthers

But, they need to tackle better than they have the last few games, and McCaffrey is a slippery runner.

Jackson also is on pace to set a career-high in catch rate (67.7 percent) while having three touchdowns on the season, which is as many touchdowns as he had in 2017. In the midst of a career resurgence, the Eagles would be wise to call the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who are 2-3, two games behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South division, and fired their defensive coordinator) and see what would be the price would be to bring Jackson back.

The Eagles struggles to stop the deep ball have been well-documented beaten to death by now, but it remains a problem. Luckily for them, the Panthers have been unable to create big plays in the passing game. 

“I try to call as many as I can when I can. A lot of factors, protection, and things like that, the run game all have to be on point for us to do that,” Pederson said. “But we just go into each game trying and hoping obviously to gain some more — its hard to go 12 and 14 plays all the time, nine plays. You want to be able to put five- and six-play drives together, but you need a chunk in there somewhere.”

So far this season, the Panthers have one pass play of over 40 yards, which is tied for worst in the NFL. That one 40-plus yard pass was a catch and run by rookie D.J. Moore.

In other words, they havent have the bomb shots that have plagued the Birds this year. Of course, the Eagles faced another team this season in the Titans that failed to hit on shot plays, and they went buck wild on the Eagles. They cannot let that happen again.

What would it cost the Eagles to get Jackson back? Jacksons production would likely cost the Eagles a third-round pick, especially given how dynamic a wide receiver of his caliber possesses in a pass-happy NFL. The Eagles would owe Jackson $7,562,500 for the remainder of 2018 and $10 million in 2019, a price worth the player of Jacksons production.

The Panthers are banged up on their offensive line, as they are missing both of their starting offensive tackles, LT Matt Kalil and RT Daryl Williams. Their replacements have been Chris Clark at LT, and Taylor Moton at RT. Clark was unemployed Week 1 of the regular season, while Moton had never started an NFL game. 

Jackson and the Eagles have been linked to a reunion for years, but 2018 would be the perfect time to bring the productive 32-year old wide receiver back. Jackson has been dominant in five games this season, catching 21 passes for 501 yards while leading the NFL with an astonishing 23.9 yards per catch (which would be a career-high).

Both Clark and Moton have exceeded expectations, particularly Moton, but this is a group that the Eagles deep and talented defensive line has to exploit.

In his press conference on Monday, Mike Groh was asked what stood out about the Panthers defense. He pointed out their size up front.

“Big, strong, physical defense,” he said. “Up front, very hard to move. Theyre big, hard to run against. Luke Kuechly, its a chess match with him on every down in terms of his ability to read and react and understand what the offense is trying to do to him and attack their defense. We know we got our work cut out for us. Excellent scheme, very good players, we know it will be a challenge this week.”

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I was curious about Grohs comments, and it turns out that the Panthers defensive linemen with at least 100 snaps played this season — a group that includes Mario Addison, Kawann Short, Dontari Poe, Wes Horton, Julius Peppers, Kyle Love, and Victor Butler — averages 298 pounds per man. That is indeed a big group, however, they are not impervious to the run. On the season, they are allowing 4.6 yards per rush, which is 23rd in the league.

The Eagles are depleted at running back, but they would love to get early points on the board and get the run game going.

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