October 12, 2017
The Philadelphia Eagles have released their Week 6 inactives against the Carolina Panthers. As noted in our injury report earlier this week, the Eagles have a lot of key injuries, while the Panthers come into this matchup mostly healthy. The Eagles do catch a break, in that Fletcher Cox is active tonight.
• RT Lane Johnson: Johnson suffered a concussion last Sunday against the Cardinals. The NFL's concussion protocol makes it nearly impossible for players to return in time for a Thursday game after a Sunday game. We covered in detail what Johnson's absence will mean for the rest of the Eagles' offensive line.
• CB Ronald Darby: After suffering what looked like a gruesome ankle injury against the Redskins Week 1, the Eagles are fortunate that Darby will only miss 4-6 weeks. Darby could potentially be back next week against the Redskins.
• RB Wendell Smallwood: With Darren Sproles out for the season, Smallwood became by far the best receiving option in the Eagles’ backfield. LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, and Kenjon Barner simply aren't good at catching the football. I also believe that Smallwood is the Eagles’ most explosive runner, in terms of speed getting through the hole, and he has improved greatly in pass protection.
• CB/S Jaylen Watkins: Rasul Douglas is a good matchup for the Eagles against the Panthers' behemoth wide receivers.
• DT Destiny Vaeao: Vaeao played 12 snaps in the regular defense Week 1 against the Redskins when he was injured. Rookie DTs Elijah Qualls and Justin Hamilton have suited up in relief of Vaeao.
• DT Elijah Qualls: With Fletcher Cox and Beau Allen both active, Qualls is not needed.
• WR Shelton Gibson: Gibson struggled mightily catching the ball in training camp, but the team felt like his ceiling was worth keeping him on the roster. Gibson won't be seeing the field anytime soon.
• RB Darren Sproles: Sproles is done for the season with a torn ACL. On the field, Sproles was the Eagles' most well-rounded running back, as he can run inside, run outside, be a weapon in the passing game, and he's easily the team's best back in pass protection. Obviously, because of his small size, however, Sproles has been never been used as a 'workhorse' type of back, but he is typically on the field in the Eagles' most crucial situations. He was also the team's primary punt returner.
• CB Sidney Jones: Jones is eligible to come off the NFI list after Week 6, at which point he will be allowed to practice for three weeks before the Eagles will have to decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster or shut him down for the season.
• K Caleb Sturgis: Sturgis was placed on IR with a quad injury suffered Week 1 against the Redskins. He was replaced by newly minted Philadelphia legend Jake Elliott.
The Panthers are mostly healthy. Stud tight end Greg Olsen is on IR (most likely temporary IR) with a broken foot, so that's a significant loss. Otherwise, for this game, the Panthers are down a center, an average safety, and a backup safety.
• TE Greg Olsen: This is a huge loss for the Panthers, as Olsen is Cam Newton's favorite target. Olsen has topped 1000 yards in each of the last three seasons. Olsen is on IR with a broken foot but could return at some point this season.
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