September 28, 2020
Another week, another slew of injuries for the still-winless Philadelphia Eagles, who fell to 0-2-1 after their 23-23 tie with the Bengals on Sunday.
Last week, the Eagles lost first-round wideout Jalen Reagor to a thumb injury and left guard Isaac Seumalo to short-term injured reserve. This time, the injury report again includes a pair of starters who are going to "miss some time" with injuries suffered in the game, injuries that could also land them on short-term IR.
Both tight end Dallas Goedert and cornerback Avonte Maddox, better known as best friends and roommates off the field, left Sunday's game with ankle injuries, and the updates from head coach Doug Pederson didn't sound all that promising, especially with the Birds heading into a tough stretch of games against the 49ers, Ravens and Steelers.
"In the matter of Dallas Goedert, it appears it's a lower body, it appears he's going to miss some time," Pederson said. "I just don't have a timetable yet, but he is going to miss some time here with us."
That's not great news for an Eagles offense that loves to use two-tight end sets, as they currently only have two other tight ends on the active roster, Zach Ertz and Richard Rodgers. Not having Goedert in there as the second tight end is a big drop-off for the Birds.
UPDATE — Dallas Goedert has reportedly fractured his ankle, not sprained it, according to Jeff McLane of the Inquirer. That might actually be good news for Goedert, as breaks typically allow player to return more quickly than severe sprains, especially the high-ankle variety. McLane added that his source said "the timeline [for return] shouldn't be too lengthy" and that it will "depend on recovery."
According to Tom Pelissero, it's "a very small fracture" in his ankle, one that won't require surgery but will still cause him to miss a couple of weeks. Still, that's better than the potential prognosis on a high ankle sprain, which was originally feared.
UPDATE 2.0 — The Eagles have placed Dallas Goedert on IR and signed TE Hakeem Butler to the active roster from the Cardinals practice squad.
The Eagles have two tight ends on the practice squad they could promote (Caleb Wilson and Jordan Franks), but Goedert is essentially a starting tight end at this point, and a good one. Replacing him will be extremely difficult in the short-term, even before considering who goes down to make room on the active roster for another tight end. Should the 25-year-old tight end hit IR, that won't be an issue.
As for Goedert's roommate?
"Avonte Maddox, another one [with a] lower body [injury]," Pederson added. "Probably also going to miss some time here with us as well."
This could also be a big problem for the Eagles, who currently have a grand total of zero cornerbacks on the practice squad and, with Craig James already on IR, they have just four healthy corners on the active roster: Darius Slay, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc and Trevor Williams, who was just recently promoted from the practice squad.
Would they consider moving Jalen Mills back to his old position in a pinch? Perhaps, but they might prefer continuity at safety and opt to plug someone else in for Maddox. It likely depends how long he'll be out for.
The other injury news for the Eagles wasn't nearly as bad as feared, as both Jason Peters and DeSean Jackson could return in time for the Niners game. Of the two, it certainly sounds like Peters, who struggled mightily against the Bengals, is the more likely player to return next week.
"Jason Peters will be OK," Pederson said. "He came away — just, when you're playing 90-plus snaps as humid as it was, there was some fatigue that set in late in the game, but he's going to be fine."
And then there's Jackson, who has struggled with soft-tissue injuries over the years and suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday.
"DeSean is going to be a little more day-to-day," Pederson said. "Lower Body. We're optimistic for the game this week."
Unfortunately, for Eagles fans, the "day-to-day" designation and optimism might not mean a whole lot, as it wasn't all that long ago that Miles Sanders was listed as day-to-day and the team was optimistic he'd be ready for the opener (after suffering a hamstring injury in camp). He had almost the entirety of camp to heal, and still missed the opener.
That's worth remembering this week as Jackson looks to return in time for a trip to San Francisco.
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