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October 08, 2023

Eagles-Rams Week 5 inactives, with analysis

The Eagles will be without Fletcher Cox (back) against the Rams, leaving younger interior D-linemen in a position to step up.

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1053_09142023_Eagles_Vikings_Fletcher-Cox.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Fletcher Cox (91) will miss the Eagles' Week 5 game against the Rams.

In their Week 5 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, the Philadelphia Eagles will be without four starters — RG Cam Jurgens, DT Fletcher Cox, CB Avonte Maddox, and LB Nakobe Dean. The Rams, meanwhile, will be boosted by the return of Cooper Kupp, who was activated off of injured reserve this week.

Here are the Eagles' and Rams' inactives, with analysis.


Tanner McKee will be the Eagles' "emergency quarterback," while P Braden Mann and CB Bradley Roby will be practice squad call-ups for this game.

DT Fletcher Cox: Cox "underwent an epidural injection procedure this week to alleviate discomfort he'd been experiencing in his back over the past couple weeks," per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Cox has been really good this season, and he has played more snaps than the Eagles' other interior defensive linemen by a wide margin. The Eagles will need their young interior defensive linemen — most notably Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, and Milton Williams — to take on a bigger workload.

S Sydney Brown: Brown remains out with a hamstring injury injury after also missing the Eagles' Week 4 win over the Commanders. In Week 3 against the Buccaneers, Brown shared slot corner duties with James Bradberry. Newly acquired CB Bradley Roby will likely play in this game, but probably won't play a high number of snaps as he gets back into football shape. 

DT Marlon Tuipulotu: With Tui out with a triceps injury, Moro Ojomo will dress for the first time in his NFL career.

RB Rashaad Penny: Penny has only played 9 snaps this season. He was a late addition to the injury report, and was listed as doubtful, though there was a pretty good chance he was going to be a healthy scratch in this game anyway.

TE Albert Okwuegbunam: Albert O. dressed Week 4 against the Commanders, but he did not play any snaps in the regular offense or on special teams.

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.

• 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. #Analysis. Sua Opeta will fill in at RG.

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.

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 don't have good 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.

The Eagles have since signed 31-year-old corner Bradley Roby.


The Rams' inactives: 

  1. WR Demarcus Robinson
  2. OLB Nick Hampton
  3. OL Zach Thomas
  4. OL Joe Noteboom
  5. DE Desjuan Johnson

Noteboom is the Rams' starting RG. Kevin Dotson will likely fill in. Rams starting LT Alaric Jackson was listed as questionable, but he will dress.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

QB Stetson Bennett: Bennett, a rookie quarterback from Georgia's National Championship teams who will turn 26 later this month, entered the season as the No. 2 behind Matthew Stafford. However, he was placed on the non-football/illness list, and the team offered no details beyond that. The Rams' backup in the meantime is Brett Rypein, who has three career starts, all with the Broncos. Rypien has a 2-1 career record, but he has 4 TDs vs. 8 INTs for his career.

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