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October 09, 2020

Eagles-Steelers final injury report, with analysis

What's the latest on DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and the rest of the injured Birds?

Eagles NFL
090520AlshonJeffery_AP (Pool Photo) Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Alshon Jeffery

When the Philadelphia Eagles head into Pittsburgh on Sunday, they will do so with a staggering 15 players either on injured reserve or the PUP list. By comparison, the Steelers, who are a seven-point favorite on Sunday according to TheLines.com, have just two players on IR, and nobody on PUP.

Here's the final Friday Eagles-Steelers injury report, with analysis.

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• WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring): It took just two and a half games for Jackson to go down with an injury. He injured his hamstring during the second quarter of the Eagles' tie with the Bengals, and he did not return. The Eagles' decision not to address the wide receiver position in free agency, instead relying on Jackson to stay healthy, didn't make sense then, and it was easily predictable that Jackson is already missing time.

WR Alshon Jeffery (illness): Doug Pederson said the team was hoping Alshon Jeffery could get practice reps this week, but a non-COVID illness prevented that, so he'll be out this Sunday. 

To note, if the Eagles had kept Jeffery on the PUP list to start the regular season, he would have been out the first six weeks, at which point he could have been activated for Week 7. As is, he is occupying a roster spot without playing for a minimum of five weeks by not remaining on PUP.

CB Avonte Maddox (ankle): Maddox was unable to return to the game after suffering an ankle injury against the Bengals. He'll likely be out for a while. He was replaced initially by Trevor Williams, who is now on IR, and more recently by corner-turned-safety-turned-corner Jalen Mills.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

• WR Jalen Reagor (short-term IR): Reagor tore the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) in his thumb. We covered his potential timeline for return in greater detail here. In a lost season, Reagor's development might have been some kind of silver lining, but the Eagles can't even get that, for now.

• TE Dallas Goedert (short-term IR): Goedert has a broken bone in his ankle, which is actually better than a high ankle sprain, but he'll still miss around 2 months of the season.

• LG Isaac Seumalo (short-term IR): With Seumalo out "for the foreseeable future," per Doug Pederson, the Eagles are without three starting offensive linemen.

LT Jason Peters (short-term IR): Jordan Mailata played a better game against San Francisco than Peters has all season.

• S Will Parks (short-term IR)Parks' injury has been a significant one. He is the Eagles' third safety, but he was poised to play a much bigger role than that in 2020. Throughout training camp, Parks was sharing time with Nickell Robey-Coleman in a nickel role. Robey-Coleman was the regular nickel, with Parks serving as the "big nickel." Robey-Coleman has not played well so far, and was benched Week 3 in favor of Cre'Von LeBlanc.

LB T.J. Edwards (short-term IR): Not exactly a high bar, but Edwards has been the Eagles' best linebacker so far this season.

• DE Vinny Curry (short-term IR): In Week 1, Curry started, and had 3 tackles and a half sack on 22 snaps. He had to be helped to the locker room after injuring his hamstring. He should be out a while.

• CB Craig James (short-term IR): James is probably the Eagles' best special teams player.

CB Trevor Williams (short-term IR): Williams filled in at corner after James and Maddox went down. After Williams was lost for multiple weeks as well, the team moved Mills back to corner.

• WR Quez Watkins (short-term IR): The Eagles have begun the three-week practice ramp-up period for Watkins' return.

S Rudy Ford: Special teamer only, but has been playing well this season in his role.

• RG Brandon Brooks (PUP): Brooks is in the conversation for 'best RG in the NFL," so obviously, losing him for the entire season hurts.

• DE Daeshon Hall (PUP): Hall tore an ACL on the final play of the 2019 regular season, because Pat Shurmur was calling timeouts to preserve every last minute of his NFL head coaching career.

• LT Andre Dillard (season-ending IR): Dillard struggled mightily as a rookie, and he came into camp as a clear player of interest, as he was poised to start at LT this season. He was up and down in camp, with the "down" moments being very alarming. Dillard injured his biceps, and is done for the season.

TE Josh Perkins (season-ending IR): He was better than Richard Rodgers?

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FB Derek Watt: FB Derek Watt is a fullback.

LB Marcus Allen: 4 career tackles.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

RT Zach Banner: Banner beat out Chukwuma Okorafor for the Steelers' starting RT job in training camp, but then injured his knee Week 1, and is done for the season. We noted Okorafor vs. Brandon Graham and Genard Avery in our five matchups to watch.

iOL Stefen Wisniewski: You guys remember Wis, right? He's a versatile backup now for the Steelers who started Week 1 in place of David DeCastro. Wis is out with a pectoral injury.

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