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October 14, 2023

Eagles-Jets Week 6 injury report, with analysis

Who could miss Week 6 against the Jets?

Eagles Sports Injuries

Content sponsored by Trinity_SportsInjuries-2023

101323SauceGardner Danielle Parhizkaran/USA TODAY Sports

Sauce Gardner

The Philadelphia Eagles have a few new injuries in advance of their Week 6 matchup against the New York Jets, who have lost two of their most important players likely for the season.

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

Player Injury Wed ThursFri Status 
CB Darius SlayKneeDNPDNP DNPOut
 S Justin Evans Knee  DNP DNP  DNP (IR)  Out 
 DT Marlon TuipulotuTriceps  DNP Limited  Limited Questionable 
 S Sydney BrownHamstring  LimitedLimited  Limited Questionable 
 DT Fletcher CoxBack  LimitedFull  Full
 LB Nakobe DeanFoot   Limited Limited  Full
 TE Jack StollShoulder  LimitedLimited  Full
 RB Rashaad PennyIllness  FullFull  Full
DT Jalen Carter Ankle   - DNP DNP Out 
WR Quez Watkins Hamstring   - DNP Out 

Wednesday notes:

• Slay is a surprise addition to the injury report. The Jets' best receiver is Garrett Wilson, and Slay is the player who matches up best against him, with Allen Lazard being a more logical matchup for James Bradberry. Slay is the most notable Eagles player to monitor throughout the week. 

• Cox did not practice at all last week, so his limited participation on Wednesday is a step in the right direction.

• Dean's limited participation is no surprise after returning to the field for the first time since he was injured Week 1 against the Patriots. It is more likely than not that he will play on Sunday.

• Brown was limited in each of the Eagles' three practices last week and he did not play, so his limited participation is not necessarily a step forward.

Thursday notes

• Uh oh. Jalen Carter is a new addition to the injury report with an ankle injury. He did not practice on Thursday.

• Slay and Evans being out for the second straight day is concerning.

• The only noteworthy good news coming out of Thursday's update is that Fletcher Cox is now a full participant, which means he'll likely play on Sunday.

Friday notes

• Evans was placed on injured reserve. He will miss the next four games, and will be eligible to return from IR Week 11 against the Chiefs. Terrell Edmunds started in place of Evans when he couldn't go Week 4 against the Commanders, however, Brown was also unavailable for that game. To be determined if Edmunds or Brown will start, and if Brown is even ready to return to the field himself.

It is feeling more and more likely that the Eagles trade for a safety.

• Nick Sirianni said that Carter's injury wasn't serious long-term, and the Eagles have plenty of depth at DT, but Carter has been so disruptive that the Jets will be thrilled that he is out.

• Sirianni also said the Slay's injury won't keep him out long-term, and luckily for the Eagles his absence comes against a team that does not have a strong passing game.

• Watkins' injury clears the way for Olamide Zaccheaus to start in the slot. Zaccheaus is the better receiver anyway, in my opinion.

Saturday notes

• Watkins was placed on IR, and Dean was activated from IR.

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 noted in our five matchups to watch.

• 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.

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 injured his foot in the Eagles' Week 1 win over the Patriots, and landed on injured reserve. Nicholas Morrow has since filled in, and has played surprisingly well. 

The Eagles opened the 21-day practice window for Dean on Monday, and it seems likely that he will return this week and play against the Jets. The guess here is that Dean will resume his duties as the green dot LB and Morrow will start at the WILL spot.

Update: Dean was elevated from IR on Saturday.

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. 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. In Week 4, with Brown sidelined with a hamstring injury, it was Bradberry in the slot once again. In Week 5 against the Rams, it was a mishmash of Goodrich, Eli Ricks, Darius Slay, and newly signed Bradley Roby getting slot duties.

The Jets have an up-and-coming stud wide receiver in Garrett Wilson, and Allen Lazard is an OK No. 2, but the Jets' third-most productive wide receiver (Randall Cobb) is averaging 4 receiving yards per game. The Eagles' continued experimentation in the slot is not as big of a concern against the Jets as it was last week against Cooper Kupp and the Rams.

S Justin Evans: Evans was added to IR on Friday. More here.

WR Quez Watkins: Watkins was added to IR on Saturday. More here.

Player Injury Wed ThursFri Status 
FB Nick BawdenCalfDNPLimitedFullQuestionable
 CB Brandin Echols Hamstring DNP DNP  DNPOut 
 CB Justin Hardee Hamstring DNP DNP  DNPOut 
 OT Mekhi Becton Knee LimitedLimited  Full 
 CB D.J. Reed Concussion LimitedLimited   DNP Out 
 OL Billy Turner Toe LimitedLimited  Full
 DL Michael Clemons Ankle FullLimited  LimitedQuestionable 
 OL Joe Tippmann Knee FullFull  Full
 CB Sauce Gardner Illness - DNPQuestionable 
 WR Xavier GipsonAnkle  - LimitedQuestionable 

Wednesday notes:

• Becton is the starting LT. He was on the injury report with a knee injury last week as well, and he had to leave the game for a half dozen snaps against the Broncos Week 5.

• Reed is a starting CB and a good player. He did not practice at all last week, and he missed the Jets' Week 5 game against the Broncos. His limited participation is a step in the direction toward returning to play on Sunday.

Thursday notes

• Becton and Reed remaining limited participants is the only noteworthy thing on Thursday.

Friday notes

• While Jalen Carter was a surprise late addition to the Eagles' injury report, so was Sauce Gardner, arguably the Jets' best player. With CB2 D.J. Reed out, the Jets will be severely undermanned in the secondary against A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith if Gardner can't go.

• Becton will play. If he couldn't go, that had the makings of a disaster for the Jets' O-line.

Saturday notes

• 🚨🚨🚨Sauce Gardner is reportedly OUT on Sunday with a concussion, per Jonathan Jones of CBS.

The Jets' defensive back depth looks like this, with injured guys crossed out: 

Jets DBs 
CB Sauce Gardner Bryce Hall  
CB D.J. Reed   
Slot CB Michael Carter II Brandin Echols  
Jordan Whitehead Adrian Amos Ashtyn Davis 
Chuck Clark Tony Adams  

The Jets' practice squad cornerbacks include old friend CB Craig James, Kalon Barnes, and Tae Hayes.

Not having your top two corners against A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith is, uh, not ideal.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

QB Aaron Rodgers (IR): Rodgers' torn Achilles Week 1 against the Bills was perhaps the biggest story of the first month of the NFL season. I probably don't need to dive too deep into that, right? Zach Wilson has filled in, and has been acceptable enough that the Jets haven't yet replaced him as the starter with someone else, but he has also not been very good. He's 91 of 149 (61.1%) for 911 yards (6.1 YPA), 4 TDs, and 5 INTs, for a QB rating of 73.4, which is pretty much in line with his career numbers to date.

OL Alijah Vera-Tucker (IR): Vera-Tucker is probably the Jets' best offensive lineman, and a versatile piece who can play multiple positions along the line. He began the season at the starting RG, but kicked out to RT after Duane Brown went on IR with a hip injury. (RT Mekhi Becton filled Brown's spot at LT, and Vera-Tucker moved to RT.)

Vera-Tucker tore his Achilles in the Jets' Week 5 win over the Broncos, and second-year player Max Mitchell filled in at RT. We covered the Jets' offensive line concerns in more depth in our five matchups to watch.

LT Duane Brown (IR): Brown was the starting LT to begin the season. He went on IR after Week 2 with a hip injury, and will not play on Sunday. As noted above, Becton filled in for Brown, Vera-Tucker filled in for Becton at RT, and then Mitchell filled in for Vera-Tucker when he went down.

S Chuck Clark (IR): The Jets traded for Clark in March after he collected 101 tackles for the Ravens in 2022. He tore his ACL during OTAs.

OT Carter Warren (IR): Warren is a fourth-round rookie who went on injured reserve just after 53-man cutdowns. His 21-day practice window was opened last week, and he is eligible to return to the 53-man roster. It would be a surprise if he were inserted into the Jets' starting lineup, but it's also not entirely out of the question. Warren played exclusively at LT in college at Pittsburgh, so it feels unlikely that the Jets would insert him right in at RT to replace Vera-Tucker in his first NFL action. The Jets could also move Becton back to RT and have Warren start at LT, but that added juggling also feels unlikely.

Edge Ifeadi Odenigbo (IR): Odenigbo is a rotational edge rusher with 14 career sacks in 55 games.

CB/S Jarrick Bernard-Converse (PUP): Bernard-Converse is a sixth-round rookie DB who did not practice during training camp. He had his 21-day practice window opened by the Jets last week.

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