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October 12, 2018

Eagles slot corner Sidney Jones likely out for a while

Eagles NFL
101218SidneyJones Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Sidney Jones is sidelined once again.

While the Philadelphia Eagles got back in the win column Thursday night against the New York Giants, their list of players with significant injuries grew, as they now have offensive tackle issues, as well as some reshuffling to do in the secondary with a hamstring injury suffered by slot corner Sidney Jones.

Jones went down in the first quarter, and the Eagles quickly ruled him out for the rest of the game. In his "day after" press conference, Doug Pederson gave Jones the dreaded "week-to-week" classification.

"He's another one that we're going to continue to evaluate," Pederson said. "Probably more of a week-to-week basis with him, with the hamstring."

To translate Pederson vernacular, Jones is likely going to be out for a while (not to put words in Doug's mouth). The Eagles showed a number of different looks Thursday night against the Giants to account for various injuries in their secondary. A look at the progression of the Eagles' secondary personnel:


First, here's what it was to start the season:

 LCBFS SS Slot RCB 
 Jalen MillsRodney McLeod Malcolm Jenkins Sidney Jones Ronald Darby 


Then McLeod got hurt, and Corey Graham had a bad game against the Titans. So, Maddox filled in at safety, and appeared to be the starter there going forward. (Graham also got hurt against the Vikings, and was ruled out for the Giants game.)

 LCBFS SS Slot RCB 
 Jalen MillsAvonte Maddox Malcolm Jenkins Sidney Jones Ronald Darby 


Then Sidney Jones got hurt, and Maddox took on double-duty, playing safety primarily, and in the slot in nickel. With McLeod and Graham out, and Maddox moving into the slot in nickel, Rasul Douglas filled in at safety.

 LCBFS SS Slot RCB 
 Jalen MillsRasul Douglas Malcolm Jenkins Avonte Maddox Ronald Darby 


Then Jalen Mills went down. At that point, the Eagles moved Darby to LCB, and Douglas filled in at RCB. Tre Sullivan then came in to play safety.

 LCBFS SS Slot RCB 
 Ronald DarbyTre Sullivan Malcolm Jenkins Avonte Maddox Rasul Douglas 


Going forward, while Jones heals up, the thinking here is that the Eagles will start Mills and Darby on the outside, with Jenkins and Maddox at safety. In nickel, Mills would move inside to the slot, with Douglas filling in at outside corner.

That will allow Maddox to focus on safety, the position the Eagles want him to play the rest of the season, and where he can gain experience to perform as well as possible during the stretch run. It would also allow Douglas to play on the outside at corner, where he is most comfortable, and where his skill set can best be utilized.


Of course, the Eagles did just free up a lot of cap space by restructuring Fletcher Cox's contract. Maybe the addition of a safety is the best spot for Howie Roseman to add a player.


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