Eagles-Cowboys final injury report, with analysis

Coming off their bye, the Philadelphia Eagles are beginning to get healthy, though they have a boatload of players on IR/PUP/NFI, and still some notable names on the injury report. The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, have had the injury bug hit them of late, as they’ll be missing a decent number of key starters in this matchup as well.

The final Friday injury report:

090418Eagles

Out

• CB Jalen Mills (foot): Mills injured his foot against the Jaguars, and Rasul Douglas filled in. The expectation here is that Douglas will get the start on the outside against Dallas.

• CB Sidney Jones (hamstring): Jones suffered a hamstring injury against the Giants that has caused him to miss the Eagles’ last two games against the Panthers and Jaguars. The Eagles signed Dexter McDougle, who received significant snaps in both of those games, playing well enough to blend in unnoticed against the Panthers, but standing out in a bad way against the Jags. The Eagles cut McDougle, and added slot corner Cre’Von LeBlanc. The Eagles’ two most likely options in the slot are as follows:

  1. Simply insert LeBlanc in as the slot.
  2. Move temporary safety Avonte Maddox from safety back to the slot, and start Corey Graham at safety.

The guess here is that the Eagles will opt to just leave Maddox at safety, insert LeBlanc in to the slot, and let Graham resume his familiar role as the third safety. 

• RB Darren Sproles (hamstring): This will now be the eighth straight game that Sproles will miss after injuring his hamstring Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. Doug Pederson expected to have Sproles back this weekend, but he suffered a setback and will now be out.

In anticipation of Sproles’ return, the Eagles released punt returner DeAndre Carter. Eagles players currently on the roster with any sort of punt returning experience are Golden Tate, Nelson Agholor, and Corey Clement. The thinking here is that Tate will be asked to take over those duties for the time being.

Questionable

OT Lane Johnson (knee): It’s somewhat remarkable that Johnson is likely to play two weeks removed from an Grade 2 MCL sprain, with is typically a month-long injury. Still, Johnson won’t be at full strength, so the Eagles would be wise to give him plenty of help against stud pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence.

DE Josh Sweat (hip): Sweat will likely get more snaps as the season progresses with Derek Barnett out, but that probably won’t happen Sunday night if he’s banged up.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

• DE Derek Barnett (IR): Barnett had shoulder surgery, and his season is over. Barnett was the starting RDE who was off to a fast start this season, collecting 2.5 sacks (including a game-ending sack against the Indianapolis Colts), before suffering a shoulder injury against the Tennessee Titans. He played two games through the injury, but was much less effective than when he was fully healthy. Michael Bennett has taken over as the new starting RDE.

• RB Jay Ajayi (IR): Ajayi was acquired from the Miami Dolphins at the trade deadline last season, and he was a contributor to the Eagles’ Super Bowl run, carrying 70 times for 408 yards (5.8 YPC) and 1 TD during the regular season, and then adding 184 yards on 42 carries during the playoffs. In four games this season, Ajayi rushed 45 times for 184 yards and 3 TDs, while playing through a fracture in his back. He was placed on IR with a torn ACL.

• S Rodney McLeod (IR): McLeod is done for the season after tearing his MCL during the Eagles’ win over the Indianapolis Colts. On the season, he had 10 tackles and four pass breakups, which doesn’t properly convey the positive contributions he made in the first three games. McLeod’s was replaced initially by Corey Graham, and later Avonte Maddox.

• DT Timmy Jernigan (NFI): Jernigan started the season on the NFI list, which is essentially an extension of the PUP list, meaning he was required to be out for at least the first six weeks of the season, though it has already extended beyond that. Jernigan was very productive early in the season last year, but his play tailed off a bit down the stretch. He has been replaced in the lineup by a whole bunch of bodies who, on the whole, have not produced.

Jernigan began practicing this week, but he remains on NFI.

• WR Mike Wallace (IR): Wallace, formerly the Eagles’ No. 2 receiver, broke his fibula against the Buccaneers. He’ll be out at least 8 weeks on injured reserve, though Doug Pederson noted that it may not be a season-ending injury.

• WR Mack Hollins (IR): The Eagles will also be without their No. 4 receiver, as the Eagles placed Hollins on IR with a groin injury. 

• ST Chris Maragos (PUP): Maragos is still recovering from a serious knee injury suffered Week 6 last year against the Carolina Panthers. He started the season on PUP, so he’ll miss at least the first six games. Like Jernigan, Maragos was not ready at the conclusion of those six weeks.

• TE Richard Rodgers (IR): Rodgers had a good training camp, and looked like he could be a quality third tight end. However, he injured his knee on a touchdown reception from Nate Sudfeld in the preseason, and was placed on IR.

The Cowboys have not yet released their injury report (we’ll update when they do), but we’ll note a few players who will be out, based on reports.

LB Sean Lee (hamstring): Lee is out with a hamstring injury again, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Let’s go ahead and update Lee’s injury history, going back to his time at Penn State:

• 2008 (Penn State) – Torn ACL.  Missed the entire season.

• 2009 (Penn State) – Sprained knee.  Missed 3 games.

• 2010 (Dallas) – Strained hamstring.  Missed 2 games.

• 2011 (Dallas) – Dislocated wrist.  Missed 1 game.

• 2012 (Dallas) – Toe. IR. Missed 10 games.

• 2013 (Dallas) – Hamstring. Missed 5 games, including Week 17 finale vs Eagles.

• 2014 (Dallas) – Torn ACL. Missed the entire season.

• 2015 (Dallas) – Concussion and hamstring. Missed 2 games.

• 2016 (Dallas) – No injuries. Missed a meaningless Week 17 with No. 1 seed wrapped up.

• 2017 (Dallas) – Hamstring. Missed 5 games.

• 2018 (Dallas) – Hamstring. Expected to miss 4-6 weeks. He has already missed three other games this season as well.

Taking Lee’s place in the middle of the Dallas defense will be rookie Leighton Vander Esch.

LG Connor Williams (knee): Williams was Dallas’ second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and is their starting LG. He had his knee scoped this week. Filling in for Williams will either be Xavier Su’a-Filo or Adam Redmond.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

C Travis Frederick (IR): Frederick is out indefinitely with a rare disease. He was a first round pick of the Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft. In five years in the league, he has three All-Pro nods (one first-team, two second-team), and four Pro Bowl appearances.

WR Terrance Williams (suspended): Williams was suspended by the league for three games as a result of this: 

He was already out anyway with a foot injury.


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