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October 05, 2017

Fletcher Cox and Wendell Smallwood miss practice, Tim Jernigan returns

Eagles NFL

It would appear that Fletcher Cox is unlikely to play in the Philadelphia Eagles' matchup with the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, as he has still not practiced since injuring his calf in the Birds' Week 3 win over the New York Giants.

On Wednesday, Doug Pederson noted that Cox's injury would be evaluated daily, as opposed to weekly.

"Day-by-day, honestly," said Pederson.

The Eagles' defense has looked considerably different without Cox in the lineup. They allowed 24 points to the Giants in the fourth quarter Week 3 with Cox out of lineup in the second half, and then 24 more points on Sunday to the Chargers. That would be 48 points in six quarters.

"I'm glad that didn't happen before we signed his contract because he probably would have asked for more," said Jim Schwartz. "I mean that's a very frivolous way of saying, ‘We miss him and we need to do a better job of playing as a unit when guys like that are not in there.’ We've had our challenges. Everybody has their challenges plugging guys in and still trying to have a high level. There's no explanations, no excuses. We have to do a better job of playing all around that position. Not just filling in for him just from a defensive tackle position, but everybody else doing their job well enough that those things don't make as big a difference as they did."

In Cox's absence, Beau Allen has started and played well, but Cox's impact on the interior of the defensive line simply cannot be replaced.

Wendell Smallwood also missed practice for the second straight day with a knee injury. With Darren Sproles already done for the season, Smallwood is the Eagles' only legitimate threat in the passing game from the running back position. On the season, Smallwood has rushed 29 times for 113 yards and a TD. He has also caught 7 passes for 56 yards.

On the bright side, DT Tim Jernigan returned to action Thursday after missing practice on Wednesday with a heel contusion. When asked Wednesday if Jernigan was in danger of missing the Eagles next game on Sunday, Pederson replied, "No, not at all."

The rest of the Eagles active roster practiced in practice on Thursday, with the exception of Ronald Darby, who continues to recover from his dislocated ankle.

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