Seumalo is Next Up at Right Tackle
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Eagles coach Doug Pederson believes Allen Barbre will be on the field at right tackle Sunday in Baltimore but the veteran missed his second consecutive practice Thursday as Philadelphia again practiced indoors due to the extreme temperatures in the region.
“I'm expecting (Barbre) to play,” Pederson said at his Wednesday press conference. “Right now, we're going to give Isaac [G Isaac Seumalo] all those reps over there and see where he's at. But Allen is a veteran guy that has played there. He doesn't need a ton of reps, necessarily, to get himself ready to go.”
Barbre was felled with a hamstring injury last Sunday versus Washington and was replaced by Matt Tobin, who in turn suffered a season-ending sprained MCL that helped lead to Ryan Kerrigan’s game-ending sack.
If Seumalo, generally thought off as an interior player, is forced into action against the Ravens, he will be the fifth option the team has used at the position following the suspended Lane Johnson, the currently injured Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Barbre and Tobin.
Asked if Seumalo, the team’s third-round pick back in April, had ever practiced at right tackle before Wednesday, Pederson was a little foreboding.
“Yeah, he had a little bit way back in the spring, if that's any indication,” the coach admitted. “You know, he's been more [of a] guard. He's gotten some [practice at] tackle on the service team going against our defense and things like that over the past couple weeks. But obviously [he has had] nothing with our offense. It's been more guard and that tight end position.”
Seumalo did play a little tackle in college at Oregon State and the Eagles raved about his versatility when he was drafted but putting him out on an island against Baltimore’s ferocious pass rush isn’t the way you want Seumalo slipping his toe in the water at the position in the NFL.
The only other option in-house if Barbre is unable to go, however, would be undrafted rookie Dillon Gordon, a former tight end in college at LSU.
"You can't let it affect you, one, and two, we've had great guys step up," Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz said when addressing all the upheaval on the offensive line. "Obviously, last week we had guys shuffle all around. But I thought they did a great job. I thought they all stepped up in their role. But it's tough when you don't get those opportunities during the week to be together.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen