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October 22, 2023

Eagles-Dolphins Week 7 inactives, with analysis

Reed Blankenship and Bradley Roby are out for the Eagles, while the Dolphins will go without starting LT Terron Armstead and star corner Jalen Ramsey.

The Philadelphia Eagles listed 11 players on their injury report, but only two of them will not play Sunday night against the Dolphins. Their Week 7 opponent, the Miami Dolphins, will be without starting LT Terron Armstead and star CB Jalen Ramsey. Here are the Eagles' and Dolphins' inactives, with analysis.


QB Tanner McKee will be the emergency quarterback. The Eagles called up WR Julio Jones and DB Mekhi Garner from the practice squad to the gameday roster.

S Reed Blankenship: Blankenship has quickly developed into a very good player, and he is the Eagles' best safety. He suffered a rib injury Week 1 against the Patriots and missed Week 2 against the Vikings. He suffered a separate rib injury Week 6 against the Jets and will be out for this game. Third-round rookie Sydney Brown will make his first-ever NFL start alongside Terrell Edmunds, who has struggled at times this season.

CB Bradley Roby: Roby could reportedly miss "a game or two," per Jordan Schultz, but his injury is not serious enough to land him on IR. The Eagles signed Josiah Scott off of the Steelers' practice squad. The Eagles have tried a lot of different things in the slot this season, but we'll likely see a mix of Scott, Eli Ricks, maybe some James Bradberry, and possibly some Sydney Brown in the slot Sunday night.

The Eagles will be starting a couple of backups at safety, likely a slot corner who got roasted in his playing time with the team in 2022, and linebackers who have played well against the run this season but have been shaky in coverage. The Eagles' defense could be in some trouble in the middle of the field against a Dolphins offense that can exploit that.

• RB Rashaad Penny: Penny has only played 9 snaps this season. He is the Eagles' RB4 and unlikely to dress on gameday, barring an injury to one of the top three guys.

TE Albert Okwuegbunam: Albert O. dressed Week 4 against the Commanders, but he did not play any snaps in the regular offense or on special teams.

DT Moro Ojomo: With Jalen Carter and Fletcher Cox healthy again, Ojomo is a scratch.

LB Patrick Johnson: Special teamer only so far this season.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

RG Cam Jurgens: Jurgens sprained his foot against the Commanders Week 4. He won't be eligible to play again until Week 9 against the Cowboys. The Eagles will be facing a whole lot of opponents with outstanding interior defensive linemen in October, as we have noted.

• Week 5: At Rams, Aaron Donald ✔️
• Week 6: At Jets, Quinnen Williams ✔️
• Week 7: Dolphins, Christian Wilkins
• Week 8: At Commanders, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne

In other words, it's not an ideal time to lose an interior offensive lineman, though Sua Opeta has done a nice job in relief of Jurgens.

CB Avonte Maddox: Maddox 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, and was only able to play in two games in 2023. He 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 had already lost depth, as backup Zech McPhearson tore his Achilles during the Eagles' preseason game against the Browns. The Eagles have had a different plan in the slot every week since Maddox went down.

• S Justin Evans: Evans was the Eagles' choice to start opposite Reed Blankenship, as he beat out Terrell Edmunds and Sydney Brown during training camp for that opportunity. He has started four games for the Eagles, and when healthy, has been competent. However, he already missed a game earlier this season with a neck injury and is now on IR with a knee injury. Evans has a long history of injuries since he entered the league in 2017, missing 43 games, not including the 2021 season, when he was not on an NFL roster. He will be eligible to come off of IR after the Eagles' Week 9 game against the Cowboys.

• WR Quez Watkins: Watkins has battled injuries this season, and only has 4 catches for 21 yards in 3 games played. In the Eagles' win over the Rams, Watkins had a chance to pick up a key first down but instead ran directly into a defender who easily rode Watkins out of bounds. That play continued a common theme of Watkins failing to make a play when an opportunity was there. The Eagles have since signed Julio Jones, and they also have Olamide Zaccheaus. Watkins will be eligible to come off of IR after the Eagles' Week 9 game against the Cowboys.


The Dolphins' inactives:

• With Howard out, the Dolphins will be without their top two corners, as Jalen Ramsey (below) is on IR. The Dolphins' starting corners will likely be Eli Apple, Kader Kohou, and Parry Nickerson.

• You may remember Connor Williams from his days as the Cowboys' starting LG. He is now the Dolphins' starting center. He missed Miami's Week 4 loss in Buffalo, he played Week 5 against the Giants, and then missed Week 6 against the Panthers. In the two games he missed, Liam Eichenberg filled in at center. Against Buffalo, Eichenberg had a brutal performance, allowing 2 sacks, a QB hit, 5 pressures, and he had a penalty. It was the first time Eichenberg had ever played center in an NFL game. He did play better Week 6 against the Panthers.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

CB Jalen Ramsey: The Dolphins traded for Jalen Ramsey this offseason, pairing him with another star corner in Xavien Howard. Ramsey suffered a meniscus injury in training camp, and had surgery to repair it. He was originally expected to return to the field sometime in December, however, he is way ahead of schedule, as the Dolphins' opened up his 21-day practice window and he practiced on Wednesday. Head coach Mike McDaniel said this week that Ramsey would not play on Sunday against the Eagles. Eli Apple has filled in on the outside for the Dolphins. That is a massive downgrade, obviously, as Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL.

LT Terron Armstead: Armstead is one of the NFL's best left tackles, and an athletic specimen. Ninth-year journeyman Kendall Lamm has filled in at LT in Armstead's absence.

RB De'Von Achane: Achane is a speed freak who ran a 4.32 at the NFL Combine. He only has 38 carries this season, but he has 460 yards (an insane 12.1 YPC), and 5 TDs on the ground, with 9 catches for 67 yards and 2 TDs through the air. The Eagles are fortunate to not have to gameplan for this guy.

WR River Cracraft: Cracraft is a former Eagles great who has gotten some playing time for the Dolphins this season. He has 6 catches for 87 yards and a TD.

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