September 27, 2018
Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod had surgery to repair an MCL tear he suffered on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, and his season is over, Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports Philadelphia is reporting.
As I reported Monday a league source confirmed to me a short while ago eagle safety Rodney McLeod had surgery this morning for torn MCL his season is over— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunnNBCS) September 27, 2018
The remaining safeties on the roster are Malcolm Jenkins, Corey Graham, and Deiondre Hall. Chris Maragos remains on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, with Tre Sullivan on the practice squad.
McLeod had a good start to the season, making 10 tackles, and breaking up four passes, one of which was intercepted by Ronald Darby against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those numbers aren't eye-popping, but he has been in good positions to make plays all season long, and hasn't been responsible for notable big plays by opposing offenses.
The loss of McLeod would be a sneaky-big blow to the Eagles' defense. The next man up is Graham, who is a more-than-capable replacement, however, Graham already plays quite a bit in sub-packages, so the Eagles will have to figure out how they will adjust. Does Deiondre Hall take on a bigger role? Does that mean more Avonte Maddox? Does Jim Schwartz just do away with his three-safety looks?
On Wednesday, Doug Pederson was confident that the team is prepared in case McLeod is out.
"We'll see how it unfolds this week," Pederson said. "Obviously, I'm not going to get into the depth chart and the plan back there. We do have a plan for it. We like where we're at and we like our options."
McLeod is set to count for $9,906,250 against the cap next season. If the team traded or released him during the 2019 offseason, they would save $5,093,750, with $4,812,500 in dead money. Of course, coming off an injury, McLeod might be more willing to restructure, like Chris Maragos did a month ago.
As for the remainder of the 2018 season, could the Eagles look at outside options?
"That's always an option, availability," Pederson said on Wednesday. "If Rodney can't go, that's always an option."
UPDATE: On Friday, Pederson confirmed that McLeod did indeed have surgery, though he would not comment on whether or not he would return at some point this season.
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