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December 23, 2017

Eagles-Raiders injury report, with analysis

By the time the Philadelphia Eagles play the Oakland Raiders on Christmas night, the Raiders may already be eliminated from playoff contention, depending on the results of the NFL's games on Saturday and Sunday. As a result, The Raiders may opt to shut down a number of their hurting players in a meaningless game.

Here's the Eagles' final Saturday injury report:



CB Jalen Mills (ankle): For the most part this season, Mills has been a good tackler, which is crucial against the type of quick-throw offenses the Raiders and Giants employ. Should Mills be unable to go, Rasul Douglas would likely get the start. Douglas was inactive a week ago against the Giants, but has playing time experience this season, and has been good when called upon. With Mills hurting, Douglas would likely be active once again this week regardless.

LB Mychal Kendricks (foot): Kendricks practiced in full on Saturday, but his status is always a little iffy, even when you assume he'll play.

• OG Stefen Wisniewski (ankle): If Wisniewski can't go, the Eagles will once again have to start Chance Warmack LG. Both Warmack and Isaac Seumalo played against the Rams, and both struggled. Warmack played the entire game last week against the Giants, and improved.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

• QB Carson Wentz: The MVP award was going to be given to either Tom Brady or Carson Wentz, so obviously, the loss of Wentz cannot be understated. Nick Foles filled in for Wentz last week against the Giants and threw four TD passes.

• LT Jason Peters: Peters tore his ACL and MCL against the Redskins. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has filled in, and struggled at times.

• LB Jordan Hicks: Hicks wasn't off to his best season this year when he went down with a ruptured Achilles. Still, it's a big loss for the Eagles' defense, though the Eagles have adapted.

• RB Darren Sproles: Sproles is done for the season with a torn ACL. On the field, Sproles was the Eagles' most well-rounded running back, as he can run inside, run outside, be a weapon in the passing game, and he was easily the team's best back in pass protection. Obviously, because of his small size, however, Sproles has been never been used as a 'workhorse' type of back, but he was typically on the field in the Eagles' most crucial situations. He was also the team's primary punt returner. 

• CB Sidney Jones: Jones remains on the NFI list, though he did begin practicing last week. Jones will be allowed to practice for three weeks before the Eagles will have to decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster or shut him down for the season.

• K Caleb Sturgis: Sturgis was placed on IR with a quad injury suffered Week 1 against the Redskins. He was replaced by Jake Elliott.


DE Mario Edwards Jr. (ankle): Edwards is a starting DE. On the season, he has 27 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

DT Treyvon Hester (ankle): Hester is a rotational DT. He has 19 tackles and a FF on the season.


CB David Amerson (foot): The Eagles would be better off if Amerson played, frankly. He'll make the occasional play, but is more often roasted.


C Rodney Hudson (ankle/illness): Hudson is a really good, tough center who played through kidney stones a week ago. If the Raiders are eliminated by game time, the Raiders may be smart to just sit him down for the season. 

WR Amari Cooper (ankle): If you owner Cooper on your fantasy football team like I did, you know he has had a very disappointing season. On the year, he has 42 catches for 499 yards and 5 TDs.

LB Bruce Irvin (concussion): Irvin is a good pass rusher who normally plays opposite the LT. On the season, he has 7.5 sacks. The Eagles would benefit from Halapoulivaati facing an easier assignment.

DL Denico Autry (hand/ankle): Autry is a rotational interior defensive lineman. On the season, he has 32 tackles and 4 sacks.

S Keith McGill (knee/illness): Reserve safety.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

LT Donald Penn: Penn was injured last week against the Dallas Cowboys, had foot surgery, and was placed on injured reserve. This Monday night, his string of 174 straight regular season games will be snapped. Penn has had an excellent career, and his absence at LT will mean that rookie fourth round pick David Sharpe will likely start instead.

CB Gareon Conley: Conley is a rookie corner who was heavily linked to the Eagles during the pre-draft process, when sexual assault allegations caused him to slide to the back half of the first round. He has played in just two games this season.

S Obi Melifonwu: Melifonwu is an incredibly athletic safety who was the Raiders' second round pick in 2017. He has appeared in just five games this season. 

K Sebastian Janikowski: Janikowski has spent the entirety of the season on IR, with Giorgio Tavecchio taking over. Tevecchio is 14 of 18 (77.8 percent) on his field goal attempts this season.

OG Jon Feliciano: Feliciano is a reserve guard who has appeared in 13 games this season.

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