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October 21, 2018

Eagles-Panthers inactives, with analysis

Eagles NFL
102118FletcherCox Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

If you clicked on this worried that Fletcher Cox isn't playing, there's nothing to worry about. He is indeed good to go. You're welcome for that sense of relief you're feeling right now.

The Philadelphia Eagles have missed important players all season long, and Sunday's matchup against the Carolina Panthers will be no different. Meanwhile, the Panthers come into this game relatively healthy, though they are missing their two starting offensive tackles.

Here are the Eagles' and Panthers' inactives:

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• CB Sidney Jones: Jones is the latest Eagle to suffer an injury that will keep him out a while, as he injured his hamstring against the Giants. The Eagles signed Dexter McDougle, who can play the slot, but he may not be ready to contribute in time for Sunday. The Eagles could also move Avonte Maddox down to the slot from his makeshift safety spot, and insert another player on the back end, or they could move Jalen Mills inside in nickle and have Rasul Douglas play on the outside. But surely, this is a significant injury, and it will be interesting to see how the Eagles plan on adjusting to it.

• DT Haloti Ngata: The Eagles signed Ngata to be a run-stuffing specialist, and they could have used him against a Panthers offense that calls a lot of designed QB runs with Cam Newton.

• RB Darren Sproles: This will now be the sixth straight game that Sproles will miss with a hamstring injury, though Doug Pederson expects him to return to the field soon, as he has for the last month.

• S Corey Graham: Graham injured himself during the Vikings game, and missed last week's game against the Giants. The Eagles are thin at safety.

• LB Nathan Gerry: Kamu Grugier-Hill won the WILL job over Gerry, so Gerry's loss won't affect the regular defense, but Gerry is a core special teams contributor.

• LB D.J. Alexander: Another special teamer down.

 OG/OT Matt PryorWith six players out due to injury, the Eagles only had to designate two healthy scratches. OT Jordan Mailata will be active for the first time.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

• RB Jay Ajayi (IR): Ajayi was acquired from the Miami Dolphins at the trade deadline last season, and he was a contributor to the Eagles' Super Bowl run, carrying 70 times for 408 yards (5.8 YPC) and 1 TD during the regular season, and then adding 184 yards on 42 carries during the playoffs. In four games this season, Ajayi rushed 45 times for 184 yards and 3 TDs, while playing through a fracture in his back. He was placed on IR with a torn ACL.

• S Rodney McLeod (IR): McLeod is likely done for the season after tearing his MCL during the Eagles' win over the Indianapolis Colts. On the season, he had 10 tackles and four pass breakups, which doesn't properly convey the positive contributions he made in the first three games. McLeod's was replaced initially by Corey Graham, and later Avonte Maddox.

• DT Timmy Jernigan (NFI): Jernigan started the season on the NFI list, which is essentially an extension of the PUP list, meaning he'll be out for at least the first six weeks of the season, though it'll likely extend well beyond that. Jernigan was very productive early in the season last year, but his play tailed off a bit down the stretch. He has been replaced in the lineup by a whole bunch of bodies who, on the whole, have not produced.

• WR Mike Wallace (IR): Wallace, the Eagles' No. 2 receiver, broke his fibula against the Buccaneers. He'll be out at least 8 weeks on injured reserve, though Doug Pederson noted that it may not be a season-ending injury.

• WR Mack Hollins (IR): The Eagles will also be without their No. 4 receiver, as the Eagles placed Hollins on IR with a groin injury. 

• ST Chris Maragos (PUP): Maragos is still recovering from a serious knee injury suffered Week 6 last year against the Carolina Panthers. He started the season on PUP, so he'll miss at least the first six games. Like Jernigan, it is not anticipated that Maragos will be ready at the conclusion of those six weeks.

• TE Richard Rodgers (IR): Rodgers had a good training camp, and looked like he could be a quality third tight end. However, he injured his knee on a touchdown reception from Nate Sudfeld in the preseason, and was placed on IR.

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The Panthers’ inactives are RB Cameron Artis-Payne, CB Corn Elder, LB Andre Smith, OG Brendan Mahon, OG Amini Silatolu, DE Bryan Cox Jr., and DE Marquis Haynes. The only injured player among that group is Smith, as the Panthers have six healthy scratches.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

• LT Matt Kalil (IR): The Panthers placed Kalil on IR with a knee injury. Replacing him at left tackle has been Chris Clark, a guy who was unemployed during Week 1 of the regular season, before the Panthers signed him. Clark has exceeded expectations, playing reasonably well for a guy nobody wanted in an offensive line-starved league.

• RT Daryl Williams (IR): Like Kalil, Williams went on IR with a knee injury. Taking his place at RT is Taylor Moton, a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Moton has played well in Williams' absence.

• S Da'Norris Searcy (IR): Searcy is an eighth-year player who started at safety for Carolina before suffering two concussions in less than a month's time.

• CB Ross Cockrell (IR): Cockrell was getting reps as the starting slot corner during the offseason, but he broke his left tibia and fibula, which required surgery.

• CB Kevon Seymour (IR): Seymour played all 16 games with the Panthers last season, starting two. He's on IR with a shoulder injury.


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