September 16, 2019
UPDATE [Tuesday, 5:15 p.m.] — According to ESPN's Tim McManus, the Eagles will be without DeSean Jackson for the next two weeks with an abdominal strain.
Read the latest here.
It's like deja vu all over again.
After dealing with a catastrophic amount of injuries in each of the last two season — and, despite that, still finding ways to win — the Philadelphia Eagles once again find themselves picking up the pieces and reassessing after a 24-20 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday night.
It seemed like every other play, another Eagle was heading to the blue medical tent. And while several of them returned — like Carson Wentz, Nelson Agholor, Jason Kelce, Sidney Jones, who were all evaluated for head injuries, and others — many were not so lucky.
At his Monday press conference, head coach Doug Pederson was expected to provide updates on each of his injured players, but because of the late game and the travel schedule, Pederson hadn't yet been briefed by the team's medical staff, so he didn't really have a whole lot to say.
"I'm going to cover this right now — I have not had my medical meeting yet," Pederson said at the start of his press conference. "Getting back at 4 a.m. this morning and getting through the tape, we haven't had that [medical meeting] yet. So I don't have any updates yet. We'll have more later today."
Still, Pederson did offer some insight on a few of those injuries, so let's run through them quickly with what we know and we'll continue to update this post as more details emerge...
Perhaps it was a bad sign for the Birds when backup tight end Dallas Goedert left the field during warmups with an injury and then slowly walked out of the tunnel while the rest of his teammates sprinted out. The second-year tight end remained on the sideline throughout the game with what the Eagles are calling a calf injury, the same kind of injury Goedert was nursing throughout the preseason.
And, while Pederson said it was more precautionary than anything else to keep him out, he did confirm that the injury was to the same calf that had been bothering him this summer.
That left the Eagles with just one tight end in uniform, Zach Ertz, and that greatly impacted Pederson's play-calling ability, as the Birds were no longer able to use the 12 personnel they like so much since it requires two tight ends on the field.
But with such a deep receiving corps, they'd be able to survive that injury, right? Well, not for long. Early in the game, before either could make a reception, both Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin) went to the medical tent and were listed as questionable to return, although neither did.
And that, combined with the loss of Goedert, really threw a wrench in Pederson's game plan.
"It affects it a lot," Pederson said. "If you were to look at my call sheet this morning, you'd see a lot of scratch-outs on plays and different things. The one thing I did say after the game too is that with [offensive coordinator] Mike Groh, [offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland and my offensive staff making the adjustments we needed to make, and then coaching those young guys up — you know, Mack Hollins, J.J. [Arcega-Whiteside].
"What's interesting, if you watch the game as we did this morning, Zach [Ertz] is telling guys where to go, Nelly [Nelson Agholor] is moving guys. Our pieces are moving and we're putting guys in positions that didn't practice in those positions during the week. And we still had a chance at the end of the game — took the lead and then still had a chance there."
Pederson didn't offer concrete updates on either Jackson or Jeffery, but said that he hoped both would've been able to play through their injuries had it been a playoff game.
"It's hard to say, if it was a must-win game, a playoff situation, I think that they would try to play through it, would try to gut it out, but it's hard to say."
According to an early report, DeSean is hopeful he'll be back by next Sunday's game against the Lions. And another report, which also hints at Jackson returning against Detroit, suggests DeSean actually hurt his groin during the Eagles' Week 1 win over Washington.
🏥 Eagles WR DeSean Jackson’s groin is sore but I’m told he’s ok— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) September 16, 2019
Jackson tweaked the groin at the end of the Redskins game
Jackson hopes to play Sunday vs Lions but Eagles need Jackson and Eagles need to be cautious with 2 games in next 11 days@6abc#Eagles#DeSeanJackson pic.twitter.com/OijsIDx1S4
As for Jeffery, the early reports are a calf strain, and that puts his status for the Eagles' next two games into question.
#Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery is dealing with a calf strain, source said, following Sunday night football. It’s not major, but with two games in 10 days, the timing is bad. His status for those is in some doubt.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2019
Those three early injuries left the Eagles with just four healthy pass catchers — Ertz, Agholor, Mack Hollins and rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside — for the remainder of the game.
Scheme and play-calling aside, the loss of those three players — Jackson, Jeffery and Goedert — can't be understated, as Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation pointed out:
DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Dallas Goedert combined for 15 receptions, 221 yards, and 4 TD in Week 1.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 16, 2019
That Eagles trio had 0 recs, 0 yards, and 0 TD in Week 2 because they were only on the field for a combined 17 snaps. https://t.co/9ZEZjIhW25
But wait, there's more.
Shortly after the players returned to the field in the second half, it was revealed that both running back Corey Clement (shoulder) and defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (foot) were questionable to return, and neither did.
On Monday morning, it was revealed that Jernigan, who was already filling in for Malik Jackson after the offseason acquisition suffered a Lisfranc fracture in the opener, suffered a broken foot of his own. Unlike Jackson, who is likely lost for the season, Jernigan could return in four to six weeks, but it could be longer if the Eagles decide to place him on injured reserve rather than occupy an active roster spot with an injured play — especially given how many injured Eagles there are already.
Per source, Tim Jernigan's broken foot does not require surgery. Current time frame is 4-6 weeks.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 16, 2019
According to Pederson, who wouldn't speculate on any specifics about Jernigan's injury, did say he believes that it's the worst of the bunch.
"I feel that, in my gut, it could be [the worst], but again, until I get more information I really don't know."
Given how many injuries there were, if this is the worst — especially after an initial report said Jernigan would also be done for the season — the Eagles may have dodged a few bullets. But with Pederson also not having heard from his medical team yet, this also could be simply speculation.
When it comes to Clement, the Eagles running back was last seen fumbling the opening kickoff of the second half, but Pederson didn't have any updates on the backup who missed a good chunk of last season with a knee injury.
Later on Monday afternoon, Ian Rapoport reported that Clement could miss a week or two with that shoulder injury.
#Eagles RB Corey Clement, knocked out with a shoulder injury yesterday, had an MRI today and is likely out a week or two, I’m told. The team will know more later in the week, but that’s the early read.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2019
We'll keep you updated as more news becomes available on these players, but either way, the Eagles will need to get healthy — and fast — as they have two games in the next 10 days. After Sunday's game against the Lions, the Birds will have a short turnaround before heading up to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers on Thursday Night Football.
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