The Philadelphia Eagles will head into their wildcard weekend playoff matchup against the New Orleans Saints with a laundry list of injured players, as they’ve done all season. The Saints, meanwhile, have had good injury luck in 2018, but have had a recent spate of injuries along their offensive line.
Here’s the final Eagles-Saints injury report, with analysis:
• QB Carson Wentz (back): Wentz will be inactive for now, but we’ll see if that changes if the Eagles are able to advance to the NFC Championship Game.
• OT Jason Peters (quad): Peters only played five snaps against the Texans, as he had to leave early with a quad injury, but he was able to play (almost) the entire game in Washington.
• DE Michael Bennett (foot): Bennett has been the Eagles’ most productive edge rusher this season, as he has collected eight sacks and two forced fumbles. Bennett has played through pain for the last month, and it is expected that he’ll do the same against the Bears.
• CB Sidney Jones (hamstring): Jones has suffered several setbacks this season to a hamstring that has never really gotten completely better. He began practicing again this week. If he plays, I imagine it will be in a reserve role, as Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, and Cre’Von LeBlanc have played well.
• WR Mike Wallace (ankle): Wallace began the season as the No. 2 receiver, as something of a replacement for Torrey Smith in the speed receiver role, but he broke his fibula against the Buccaneers Week 2, and has been on IR ever since. The team activated Wallace off of IR a few weeks ago.
• LB D.J. Alexander (hamstring): Special teamer only.
• WR Shelton Gibson (hamstring): Special teamer only.
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.
• CB Jalen Mills (IR): Mills was toasted quite a bit during the early part of the season, but he was playing better when he went down with a foot injury. After seeing some of his replacements in action over the last few games, it is clear why Schwartz prefers Mills over the rest of the bunch.
• CB Ronald Darby (IR): Darby was up and down as a starter this season before he tore his ACL. At a minimum, he’s a lot better than the players who are trying to replace him.
• 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 was replaced initially by Corey Graham, and later Avonte Maddox, and now back to Graham.
• RB Corey Clement (IR): In 2017, Clement had a great rookie season, culminating in a standout performance in the Super Bowl, when he caught four passes for 100 yards and a TD. Many thought he would build on his impressive rookie season in 2018, but that never happened, as Clement was hampered with a quad injury. In 2018, he had 68 carries for 269 yards (3.8 YPC) and two TDs on the ground, and 22 catches for 192 yards (8.7 YPC) and zero TDs through the air.
• WR Mack Hollins (IR): The Eagles placed Hollins on IR with a groin injury. He has not played at all this season.
• ST Chris Maragos (PUP): Maragos is still recovering from a serious knee injury suffered Week 6 last year against the Carolina Panthers. He had a second surgery on his knee last week.
• TE Josh Perkins (IR): Perkins is done for the season with a knee injury. The Eagles activated Richard Rodgers off of IR to replace him.
• OT Jordan Mailata (IR): We never got a chance to see Mailata in real game action.
We’ll update with the Saints’ injury report when it is made available.
Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other
• CB Patrick Robinson: Robinson signed with the Saints in free agency after his stellar year as the Eagles’ slot corner. He had surgery to repair a broken ankle, and is done for the season. With Robinson out, the Saints traded for Eli Apple at the trade deadline.
• WR Dez Bryant: Bryant signed with the Saints, and almost immediately tore his Achilles. He’s done for the season.
• WR Cameron Meredith: In six games, Meredith had 9 catches for 114 yards and 1 TD. He went on IR after having knee surgery.
• DT Jay Bromley: Rotational DT who went on IR after appearing in two games.
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