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