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October 10, 2021

Eagles-Panthers inactives, with analysis

Eagles NFL
101021ShaqThompson Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

Panthers starters S Juston Burris and LB Shaq Thompson are both out for the Panthers.

It's simply not an Eagles season without some serious injury (and other) drama. On Sunday, they'll face a Carolina Panthers team that will also be missing their fair share of noteworthy players. 

Here is the Eagles' and Panthers' inactives, with analysis.

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RT Lane Johnson: Johnson will not play on Sunday, due to his not-yet-revealed personal matter. 

However, Jordan Mailata, who sprained his knee during practice prior to the Eagles' Week 3 game against the Cowboys and missed two games as a result, will be back in the lineup. 

Andre Dillard filled in for Mailata against the Cowboys and Chiefs. He played well against a group of Cowboys pass rushers that did not test Dillard's ability to anchor against power rushes, and then also played reasonably well against an injury-depleted Chiefs defensive line.

There's a decent chance that Mailata could flip sides and start at RT in place of Johnson, with Dillard staying at LT. My best guess at the Eagles' offensive line starters for Sunday: 

 LTLG RG RT 
 Andre DillardLandon Dickerson Jason Kelce Jack Driscoll Jordan Mailata 


The Eagles could also play Mailata at LT, with Nate Herbig at RG, and Driscoll at RT.

QB Gardner Minshew: Joe Flacco remains the No. 2, for now.

DT Marlon Tuipulotu: No need for an extra run stuffer against a team unlikely to run it a lot with Christian McCaffrey likely out.

CB Mac McCain: McCain hasn't yet be active since being added to the roster after Week 1.

OG Jack Anderson: Nate Herbig started at RG last week, so Anderson was up as the backup center. Herbig likely isn't starting this week, so he'll be the backup center.


MORE: Week 5 non-Eagles rooting guide | Five over/unders for Eagles' Week 5 matchup vs. Panthers


Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

DE Brandon Graham (IR): Graham's season is over with a ruptured Achilles. On the field, Graham was arguably the Eagles' best defensive player in 2020. It's clear since his loss that the Eagles miss his contributions as a pass rusher and run stopper, and the Eagles have not been able to adequately replace him. Off the field, Graham has unlimited energy and positivity, and he is a player that you just want to have around if you're a head coach in the NFL. 

RG Brandon Brooks (IR): Brooks suffered a pectoral injury against the 49ers. It's "only" a pec strain, as opposed to a tear, so while he'll likely miss time (about 8 weeks, per Lane Johnson) on injured reserve, it's not a season-ending injury. 

LG Isaac Seumalo (IR): Seumalo was carted off the field in the Eagles' loss to the Cowboys. His season is over after having surgery for a Lisfranc injury.

S K'Von Wallace (IR): Wallace separated his shoulder while trying to tackle Ezekiel Elliott in the first quarter against the Cowboys. He left the field and did not return. He'll be out at least three weeks on IR. Rodney McLeod has since returned to the starting lineup.

TE Tyree Jackson (IR): Jackson suffered a broken bone in his back during joint practices with the New England Patriots. The injury did not require surgery, and his recovery period at the time was deemed by the team to be 8-10 weeks. That was seven weeks ago, so (checks math) Jackson should be back 1-3 weeks from now.

OG Sua Opeta (COVID): Opeta was active last week against the Chiefs after getting called up from the practice squad. 


MORE: Rounding up the experts' predictions for Eagles vs. Panthers | Mailbag: Early look at the Eagles' biggest 2022 draft needs


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RB Christian McCaffrey: You all know who McCaffrey is, right? If not, he's the Panthers' best player. The Panthers' backup running backs are Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman.

LT Cameron Erving: Erving is the Panthers' starting LT, though not really a good one, so this was already a weak spot heading into this matchup. With Erving out, rookie third-round pick Brady Christensen or fourth-year player Trent Scott will fill in. To be determined whether Christiansen or Brady play LT, or if they play RT, and RT Taylor Moton slides over to LT.

LB Shaq Thompson: Thompson racked up 223 tackles from 2019-2020, which led the Panthers during that span. He also leads the team in tackles so far in 2021, with 25 of them. He also has an INT, 2 pass breakups, a sack, 2 tackles for loss, and 4 QB hits in 2021. Good player.

Fourth-year LB Jermaine Carter Jr. could see a bigger role with Thompson out.

• The rest of the Panthers' inactives: 

  1. WR Shi Smith
  2. DT Phil Hoskins
  3. CB Rashaan Melvin
  4. DE Darryl Johnson

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

CB Jaycee Horn (IR): Horn was the eighth overall pick n the 2021 NFL Draft. He broke multiple bones in his foot, and while he could return potentially late in the season, he'll be shut down for months.

CB Stephon Gilmore (PUP): After Horn went down, the Panthers traded for former Jaguars CB C.J. Henderson, followed by Gilmre, the former Defensive Player of the Year for the Patriots. Gilmore is still on the PUP list, so he can't play until after Week 6.

S Juston Burris (IR): Burris is a starting safety for the Panthers. He left the Panthers' Week 3 win against the Texans with a groin injury, and subsequently went on IR. 

iOL Pat Elflein (IR): Elflein began the season as a starting guard. He was replaced in the starting lineup by John Miller.


MORE: Eagles at Panthers: Five matchups to watch | WTS: Sirianni rips Gannon; Sanders vs. Gainwell


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