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October 03, 2021

Eagles-Chiefs inactives, with analysis

Right tackle Lane Johnson was a surprise Week 4 inactive for the Birds.

Eagles NFL
Lane_Johnson_4_Eagles_49ers_Frese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson.

As always, the injury bug has hit the Philadelphia Eagles hard, as they have already lost Brandon Graham and Isaac Seumalo for the season. Brandon Brooks will also be out for a couple months, and Jordan Mailata will miss his second game with a knee sprain. On the plus side, the Eagles will be getting Rodney McLeod back.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, are healthy, relatively speaking, but they will be without a pair of defensive starters in Frank Clark and Charvarius Ward. Here are the Eagles' and Chiefs' inactives, with analysis.

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RT Lane Johnson: Wait, what? Johnson wasn't on the final injury report all week, so this is a major surprise just an hour and half prior to game time. According to the Eagles, a "personal matter" is causing Johnson to miss this game.

The Eagles' offensive line will likely look like this:

 LTLG RG RT 
 Andre DillardLandon Dickerson Jason Kelce Jack Driscoll Brett Toth 


They could also go with Nate Herbig at RG, and Jack Driscoll at RT. But either way, yikes.

LT Jordan Mailata: Mailata sprained his knee during practice prior to the Eagles' Week 3 game against the Cowboys. Andre Dillard filled in, and played well against a group of Cowboys pass rushers that did not test Dillard's ability to anchor against power rushes. Frank Clark is out today, so Dillard should get another favorable matchup.

QB Gardner Minshew: To be determined when Minshew will be replaced on this list by Joe Flacco.

CB Mac McCain: McCain has been down for every game since joining the team.

DT Marlon Tuipulotu: No need for added run stuffer against a team that loves to air it out.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

DE Brandon Graham (IR): Graham's season is over with a ruptured Achilles. On the field, Graham was arguably the Eagles' best defensive player in 2020. Off the field, Graham has unlimited energy and positivity, and he is a player that you just want to have around if you're a head coach in the NFL. His personality was no doubt very useful this offseason to a new and unestablished head coach like Nick Sirianni, and first-time defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Sirianni called Graham the "heart and soul" of the team.

Rookie Milton Williams started in pace of Graham against Dallas, but Graham's role in the defense was split among Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, Josh Sweat, and Derek Barnett.

RG Brandon Brooks (IR): Brooks suffered a pectoral injury against the 49ers. It's "only" a pec strain, as opposed to a tear, so while he'll likely miss time (about 8 weeks, per Lane Johnson) on injured reserve, it's not a season-ending injury. 2021 second-round pick Landon Dickerson filled in for Brooks at RG against the 49ers and Cowboys. He has not played well so far in Brooks' absense.

LG Isaac Seumalo (IR): Seumalo was carted off the field in the Eagles' loss to the Cowboys. He was replaced in the lineup by Nate Herbig, but the Eagles could shuffle things up a bit heading into Week 4. My bet is that Dickerson will move over the LG, and Jack Driscoll will fill in at RG. 

S K'Von Wallace (IR): Wallace separated his shoulder while trying to tackle Ezekiel Elliott in the first quarter against the Cowboys. He left the field and did not return. He'll be out at least three weeks on IR.

As noted above, McLeod will make his season debut on Sunday against the Chiefs.

TE Tyree Jackson (IR): Jackson suffered a broken bone in his back during joint practices with the New England Patriots. The injury did not require surgery, and his recovery period at the time was deemed by the team to be 8-10 weeks. That was six weeks ago, so (checks math) Jackson should be back 2-4 weeks from now.

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DE Frank Clark: As we noted inour five matchups to watch, Clark would have been a much stiffer test for Andre Dillard than anyone Dillard faced against the Cowboys. Big loss for the Chiefs.

CB Charvarius Ward: Ward is a starting corner. With Ward and Rashad Fenton (below) out, the Chiefs will likely have to play DeAndre Baker in their nickel package. Baker would be a player the Eagles should look to target.

CB Rashad Fenton: Fenton played in 16 games for the Chiefs in 2020, starting three. He had 35 tackles, 1 INT, and 7 pass breakups.

We'll update with the rest of the Chiefs' inactives when they are made available.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

Willie Gay (IR): Gay was a second-round pick of the Chiefs in 2020. He played in all 16 games in 2020, starting 8. He had 39 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and 3 pass breakups.

Kyle Long (PUP): Long, a three-time Pro Bowl guard and brother of Chris Long, retired after the 2019 season, unretired in March of 2021, signed with the Chiefs, injured his knee during OTAs, and landed on the PUP list.


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