The Eagles defense could be without a valuable member on Monday when the Eagles head to fave the New Orleans Saints at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Allen tweaked his left hamstring in practice on Thursday. It was a right hamstring injury that forced him out of the Detroit game a few weeks back, but he said he's not ruling out playing on Monday night against the Saints.

“It is [frustrating],” admitted Allen after practice on Thursday.  “But Monday is not out of the picture yet.”

You can expect David Sims to get the start at safety along-side Kurt Coleman if Allen can not play Monday. Undrafted out of Iowa State in 2011, Sims showed both physicality and a nose for the ball in preseason action while playing for the Cleveland Browns, prompting the Eagles to make a trade for the self-proclaimed "ball-hawk."

Either way, losing Allen could be a big issue against a Saints team featuring one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Drew Brees.

On defense, it's looking like lineman Cullen Jenkins will play after sitting out Thursday's practice with a hyper-extended knee.  The team could also get back the services of tackle Mike Patterson who has been out the entire season after off-season brain surgery.  New defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said he wasn't sure how he would use Patterson if he is ready to play on Monday.

“I’m not sure yet. He’s working, and we just have to see where he is.”

Offensive lineman Danny Watkins missed practive again and most likely isn't ready for game action, Dennis Kelly would be the starter for the second week in a row.

Meanwhile punt returner Mardy Gilyard has missed two days of practice in a row and will miss the game Monday with a hamstring injury.  Special teams coach Bobby April said the team will re-insert Damaris Johnson into the punt return role.

“Damaris will be the guy," April said.  "I know he’s looking forward to it. He’s from New Orleans. It’ll be a big homecoming for him and I think he’ll play really well.”

The Eagles should know how important this game is and how important it is to set the tone for the second half of the season.