Cox Out Again, Smallwood Iffy for Cards
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The Eagles will be without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox for the second straight game on Sunday when the Arizona Cardinals visit Lincoln Financial Field.
The talented interior lineman is still dealing with a calf injury and has been listed as day-to-day, although Cox has been unable to practice at all since suffering the injury against the New York Giants during Week 3.
Running back Wendell Smallwood (swelling in his knee) and defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao, who has missed the prior three games with a wrist injury, will be listed as questionable, according to head coach Doug Pederson.
Smallwood, though, has not been able to practice at all this week while Vaeao has been back in a limited fashion. Typically if players, especially younger ones like the second-year Smallwood, do not practice at all they do not play.
Without Cox and Vaeao last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, Beau Allen started at defensive tackle opposite Tim Jernigan, with rookie Elijah Qualls and Justin Hamilton rotating in as depth. Jernigan missed Wednesday's practice with a heel contusion but is expected to play against the Cards.
As for running back, Smallwood has taken over the Darren Sproles' role in the Eagles' committee approach and his absence means a lot of reps are up for grabs. Expect expanded roles for LeGarrette Blount and undrafted rookie Corey Clement with the latter figuring in as the third-down back.
Other options could include the recently returned Kenjon Barner or Byron Marshall, who is currently on the practice squad and could be promoted Saturday especially of the Eagles believe Vaeao will be back as part of the DT rotation.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen