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September 29, 2023

Eagles-Commanders Week 4 injury report, with analysis

The latest from Eagles practice, with some thoughts from Jimmy.

Eagles Sports Injuries

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0848_09142023_Eagles_Vikings_Sydney-Brown.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Sydney Brown

The Philadelphia Eagles' Week 3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the first game this season during which the team did not suffer an injury resulting in an important player landing on injured reserve. In Week 4, they'll face the relatively healthy Washington Commanders.

Here's the Eagles-Commanders injury report, with analysis.

Player Injury Wed ThursFri Status 
S Sydney Brown Hamstring DNP  DNPDNP Out 
S Justin Evans Neck DNP  DNPFull  Questionable
WR Quez Watkins Hamstring DNP LimitedLimitedOut
WR Britain Covey Hamstring Limited  Full Full  -
DT Fletcher Cox Knee Limited  Limited  Limited  -
LB Zach Cunningham Ribs Limited  Full Full  -
RG Cam Jurgens Groin Limited  Limited Full  -
LG Landon Dickerson Knee Full  Full Full  -
RB Boston ScottConcussionFull FullFull  -
WR DeVonta Smith Illness  DNP  Limited  -

Wednesday notes:

• Brown and Evans both left Monday's game against the Bucs and did not return, so it's no surprise that they did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Terrell Edmunds filled in for Evans when he went out. The Eagles could be thin at safety against Washington. That'll be the position to monitor throughout the week.

• Dickerson's full participation is good news for the Eagles after he left (and did not return) Monday night.

Thursday notes:

• Both Brown and Evans didn't practice for the second straight day. That is obviously a bad sign for their likelihood of playing on Sunday. The Eagles have Tristan McCollum on their practice squad. He played reasonably well for a practice squad guy throughout training camp, and could be a callup option.

• Watkins was upgraded from DNP to limited, while Covey and Cunningham went from limited to full.

• Smith was added to the report with an illness. He'll have plenty of time to get better.

Friday notes:

• Brown is out, but Evans was a full participant, which is a good sign for his availability for Sunday. If the Eagles have three safeties up in Blankenship, Edmunds, and Evans, that's probably good enough to survive a game, with perhaps someone like Kelee Ringo serving as an emergency option? And again, the team could also simply call up McCollum from the practice squad.

• Watkins is out, so Olamide Zaccheaus will get another start in the slot.

• Also worth noting is that Haason Reddick has not been on the injury report, but he will no long be wearing a cast on Sunday to protect his surgically repaired thumb.

Saturday notes:

• The Eagles elevated S Tristin McCollum from the practice squad, which could mean that the Eagles are uncertain of Evans' availability for this game.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

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. Morrow has worn the "green dot" helmet in Dean's absence, and he has played surprisingly well.

CB Avonte Maddox: Maddox is had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. His season is likely over.

The oft-injured Maddox missed games at three different junctures during the season in 2022: 

  1. He missed the Eagles' Week 4 and 5 games vs. the Jaguars and Cardinals.
  2. He missed the Eagles' Week 10, 11, 12, and 13 games vs. the Commanders, Colts, Packers, and Titans.
  3. He missed the Eagles' Week 17, 18, and divisional round games against the Saints, Giants, and the Giants again.

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.

Slot corner is a position where the Eagles don't have proven depth. In Maddox's absence against the Vikings, 2022 UDFA Mario Goodrich filled in and played 39 snaps. That was the first regular season action of Goodrich's career. In Week 3 against the Buccaneers, Goodrich was a healthy scratch, and slot duties were split between James Bradberry and Sydney Brown.


Player Injury Wed Thurs Fri Status 
S Percy ButlerFootLimitedLimitedFullQuestionable
RB Chris Rodriguez Illness  Limited  DNP DNPOut 
TE Logan Thomas Concussion  Limited  Full Full
CB Emmanuel Forbes Elbow Full  Full Full
CB Benjamin St-Juste Neck Full  Full Full

Wednesday notes:

• The Commanders don't seem to have any real worries on their injury report. Forbes and St-Juste are starters, but they were full participants, which means they'll almost certainly play.

Thursday notes:

• Thomas will almost certainly play on Sunday now that he is a full participant. But again, none of these players matter all that much. The Commanders' injury report will only become interesting if there's a late addition to it.

Friday notes:

• The Commanders will have all starters available.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

The Commanders have 12 players on injured reserve, but none of them are starters and only a handful are even role players.

As we noted in our five matchups to watch, the Commanders have a very talented starting foursome up front in DTs Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne to go along with DEs Montez Sweat and Chase Young. However, they do not have good D-line depth to begin with, and will be further depleted with three reserve linemen on IR. We'll lump these three guys together: 

  1. DE Efe Obada: 24 tackles, 4 sacks for the Commanders in 2022 as a rotational guy.
  2. DT Phidarian Mathis: The Commanders selected Mathis in the second round of the 2022 draft. His tore his meniscus in his rookie Week 1 debut last season, and his 2023 season will begin on IR with a calf injury. He has only played 3 career snaps in the regular defense so far.
  3. DE Shaka Toney: 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks as a rookie in 2021. 8 tackles, 0 sacks in 2022. Toney is suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games.

The rest of the semi-notable names:

TE Armani Rogers: Rogers is a former quarterback turned tight end who was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent last year. He made the team and made five catches on the season. With a shaky group at tight end, there was some thinking that Rogers could make a leap in Year 2 and become a factor in the Commanders' offense, but he tore his Achilles in OTAs, ending his season.

iOL Braeden Daniels (IR): Versatile rookie fourth-round pick. I happened to notice reports this summer from the Commanders' beats that he was struggling in camp.

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