September 25, 2023
The Philadelphia Eagles lost CB Avonte Maddox to a likely season-ending injury during their Week 2 win over the Minnesota Vikings, though they should benefit from the probable returns of CB James Bradberry and S Reed Blankenship Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Here are the Eagles' and Buccaneers' inactives, with analysis.
Tanner McKee will be the Eagles' "emergency quarterback," while P Braden Mann and WR Devon Allen will be practice squad call-ups for this game.
• WR Quez Watkins: Watkins is out with a hamstring injury. He will be replaced in the lineup by Olamide Zaccheaus. This is an interesting nugget:
This is sort of wild, but Quez Watkins missing this game marks the first time an #Eagles starting (or even top 4) WR will miss a game due to injury since the 2020(!) season. In 2022, the same 5 WRs dressed and played in all 20 games. https://t.co/7Wb8VXIWHx— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) September 24, 2023
The Eagles are thin at receiver.
• RB Boston Scott: Scott has 6 carries for 43 yards on the season, and has run well. He is out with a concussion. Rashaad Penny will likely dress in Scott's absence. Allen will likely return kicks, and Britain Covey will return punts.
• TE Albert Okwuegbunam: The Eagles traded for Albert O just before 53-man cutdowns. He'll likely be a healthy scratch for a while, barring an injury to one of the other three tight ends.
• OT Tyler Steen: Fred Johnson was a long shot to make the team to begin training camp, but he played his way onto the roster and was up Week 1 in favor of Steen. That remained the case Week 2 and once again Week 3.
• iDL Moro Ojomo: Ojomo was disruptive in the preseason, but the Eagles went with the veteran Kentavius Street in the first two games. Street gets the nod again. (I'd go Ojomo, if anyone cares.)
• CB Mario Goodrich: James Bradberry will play in the slot.
• LB Nakobe Dean: After 2022 starting linebackers T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White left in free agency, Dean became the team's top linebacker, with added responsibilities as the "green dot" helmet wearer, relaying the play calls from Sean Desai to the rest of the defense.
Dean did not stand out in a good or bad way throughout the first few weeks of training camp, and he missed some time with an injury. However, he made a big play when he forced a goal line fumble in the Eagles' second preseason game against the Browns, and he was very active and around the ball a lot in joint practices against the Colts. He closed camp on a high note. In the Eagles' first game against the Patriots, he injured his foot and landed on injured reserve. He'll be eligible to return to the field Week 6 against the Jets.
The Eagles only have three other off-ball linebackers on their 53-man roster. They are Zach Cunningham, Nicholas Morrow, and Christian Elliss. Cunnningham and Morrow started Week 2 against the Vikings, with Morrow wearing the "green dot" helmet.
• CB Avonte Maddox: Maddox is reportedly scheduled to have surgery this week to repair a torn pectoral muscle. His season is likely over.
Slot corner is a position where the Eagles don't have proven depth. In Maddox's absence last Thursday night against the Vikings, 2022 UDFA Mario Goodrich filled in and played 39 snaps. That was the first regular season action of Goodrich's career.
The oft-injured Maddox missed games at three different junctures during the season in 2022:
Maddox also missed three games in 2018, four games in 2019, and six games in 2020. He is one of the best slot corners in the NFL when healthy, but it seems there will always be durability concerns.
As we noted in our five matchups to watch, assuming James Bradberry recovers from his concussion in time to play Monday night, it feels like the Eagles will start Bradberry and Darius Slay, with Bradberry sliding inside to the slot in nickel looks and Josh Jobe playing outside. Mario Goodrich could get some looks as well.
Players Inactive for Today’s Game (9/25):— Buccaneers Communications (@BuccaneersComms) September 25, 2023
#8 LB SirVocea Dennis
#24 CB Carlton Davis III
#56 DT Deadrin Senat
#58 OLB Markees Watts
#73 OL Brandon Walton
#87 TE Payne Durham
#94 DL Calijah Kancey
The two notable names:
• CB Carlton Davis: Davis is a starting corner, and a good player. You don't want to be down a starting CB against the Eagles. #Analysis.
• DT Calijah Kancey: Kancey was the Bucs' first round pick (19th overall) in the 2023 NFL Draft. He started Week 1 but only played 11 snaps before leaving with a calf injury. He was ruled out on Saturday.
• C Ryan Jensen (IR): During 2022 training camp, Jensen tore his ACL, MCL, PCL, meniscus, and fractured his tibial head and cartilage, per Jenna Laine of ESPN. He somehow returned to play six months later in the Buccaneers' home playoff loss to the Cowboys, which turned out to be an ill-advised decision to rush back. The Bucs placed Jensen on IR late in August due to complications from his knee surgery:
The #Bucs will place C Ryan Jensen on season-ending Injury Reserve thanks to the complications from the knee injury that robbed him of nearly all of last season, GM Jason Licht announced. The injury is so significant that Jensen likely had played his last down in the NFL.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2023
• WR Russell Gage (IR): Gage is a solid No. 3 receiver who played four years with the Falcons before signing with the Bucs last season. He had 51 catches for 426 yards and 5 TDs in 13 games for Tampa in 2022. The No. 3 receiver is now sixth-round rookie Trey Palmer, who has 3 catches for 28 yards so far this season.
• RB Chase Edmonds (IR): Edmonds had 4 carries for 20 yards in his first two games with the Bucs. He suffered an MCL strain and landed on IR.
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