November 18, 2019
Coming out of the bye week, a common sentiment was that the Philadelphia Eagles would perhaps be the healthiest they've been all season. Nope. Prior to their matchup against the New England Patriots, it was learned that Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Howard would be unable to play.
On Monday, Doug Pederson provided updates on Lane Johnson, who left the Pats game with a head injury, as well as the statuses of Jeffery and Howard.
Pederson confirmed that Johnson is in the concussion protocol. The injury occurred during the Eagles' touchdown drive.
"He came out after that touchdown drive," Pederson said. "I don't know specifically what the play was, but it was after that drive that he came to the sideline and we checked him and had to put him in the protocol."
To note, I watched every play on that drive and didn't notice Johnson taking any violent head shots. Not to play doctor, but the assumption here would be that since Johnson was seemingly able to play through his head injury (yes, a bad idea), it is likely not a severe concussion.
When Johnson left on a cart, Andre Dillard would have perhaps made more sense to fill in for him at RT. Instead, it was Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
"It effected the run game a little bit, from the standpoint of him and Brandon working together and getting those reps during the week. Still got a lot of confidence in Big V. He filled in there. But it's a loss. You're talking about a Pro-Bowl caliber right tackle, and he and Brandon together do some great things. So, it effects you a little bit with the running game."
If Johnson can't go against the Seahawks, it will be Dillard, not Vaitai, who gets the start at RT, as Dillard will have a chance to work all week at RT with the first team offense.
"Going into the game obviously he was – JP’s status during the week obviously – he was still working at left tackle, but moving forward, again, depending on Lane’s status at the end of the week, the plan would be to work Dillard a little bit at right tackle," Pederson said.
Even without the added work at RT in preparation for the Patriots, the feeling here is that Dillard still would have been the better option over Vaitai.
Howard was a limited participant in practice throughout the week last week with a stinger suffered against the Chicago Bears, but he never got cleared for contact, and was officially ruled out an hour and a half before the game.
Of course, the Eagles signed Jay Ajayi two days before the game, so he simply wasn't ready to play. Clearly, the Eagles probably felt that Howard would be good to go for the Patriots game, or they presumably wouldn't have waited until Friday to sign Ajayi or some other back.
"He wasn't cleared for contact but he was working individual drills," Pederson said. "So we were optimistic that he was going to maybe be available for the game. That's why it was later in the week than earlier."
Ajayi will get more work this week.
"Obviously, you sign him late so it was just kind of an emergency situation if we needed him in that football game yesterday," Pederson said. "We will incorporate him. Again, if Jordan, like Lane, if he doesn't practice or whatever during the week then we definitely will get Jay ready to go."
Unlike Howard, Jeffery didn't practice at all last week, so the feeling here is that he is a little further away from returning for a game than Howard. He has an ankle injury, but it is unknown specifically when kind. If it's a high ankle sprain, that would obviously not be good.
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