December 31, 2017
On Friday, Doug Pederson said that his starters would play in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Dallas Cowboys, so as not to have a three-week gap in which they got some live game action. Still, there are some banged up players who can use some added healing, which makes this week's inactive list worth analyzing.
Here are the Eagles' and Cowboys' inactives:
• DE Brandon Graham: Graham injured his ankle against the Raiders last Sunday, making it a no-brainer to hold him out until the Birds' first playoff game.
• CB Jalen Mills: Mills has been listed on the injury report the last couple of weeks with an bum ankle. Again, with nothing to play for, and with Mills not needed on special teams, it makes sense to sit him for this game.
• RB Jay Ajayi: Ajayi has durability concerns, so this makes sense as well. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, LeGarrette Blount stands to earn a significant bonus if he gains 21 yards today.
Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount, who has 729 rushing yards this season, has a $300,000 incentive for 750 rushing yards this season, per source. Blount needs 21 rushing yards Sunday for $300,000.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2017
Let the man get his money.
• DE Derek Barnett: Barnett was on the injury report a couple weeks ago with a groin injury, so again, this makes sense.
• LB Nigel Bradham: This goes to show what the Eagles think of their linebacker depth.
• DT Timmy Jernigan: It's interesting that Jernigan is down, but Fletcher Cox is up.
• S Rodney McLeod: Again, like with Jernigan/Cox above, it's interesting that McLeod is down, but Malcolm Jenkins is up.
• QB Carson Wentz: The MVP award was going to be given to either Tom Brady or Carson Wentz, so obviously, the loss of Wentz cannot be understated. Nick Foles filled in for Wentz against the Giants and threw four TD passes, followed by a dreadful performance against the Raiders.
• LT Jason Peters: Peters tore his ACL and MCL against the Redskins. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has filled in, and struggled at times.
• LB Jordan Hicks: Hicks wasn't off to his best season this year when he went down with a ruptured Achilles. Still, it was a big loss for the Eagles' defense, as they have had a number of players try to fill in at MLB.
• 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 was 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 was typically on the field in the Eagles' most crucial situations. He was also the team's primary punt returner.
• K Caleb Sturgis: Sturgis was placed on IR with a quad injury suffered Week 1 against the Redskins. He was replaced by Jake Elliott.
• OT Tyron Smith: With the Cowboys; season over, they opted to put Smith on IR rather than have him play a meaningless game. With the empty roster spot they were able to sign a guy from their practice squad to the 53-man roster.
• CB Orlando Scandrick: Ditto.
• DE Randy Gregory: At one point thought of as a potential top 5 pick, Gregory was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He has more suspensions than sacks.
• DT Stephen Paea: Paea was signed by the Cowboys this offseason, and he started the first four games of the season before retiring because of knee issues.
• DE Charles Tapper: Tapper was a rotational defensive end for the Cowboys. He played in two games, and had one sack.
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