Walker to IR Opens Spot for Jones
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It doesn't take much to connect these dots.
The Eagles placed linebacker Joe Walker on injured reserve Friday afternoon, giving them an open roster spot leading up to the regular-season finale against Dallas.
Philadelphia also has until Wednesday of next week to either activate Sidney Jones and put him on the 53-man roster or move the talented rookie to injured reserve and officially end what would be a redshirt rookie season after Jones ruptured his Achilles' at University of Washington's Pro Day back in March.
The benefit of activating Jones is at least another two weeks of practice in the lead up to the divisional playoff game and potentially more vs. moving someone, which turned out to be Walker, off the back end of the roster.
Jones returned to practice on Dec. 12 and the clock started ticking on the 21-day window the Eagles had to make a decision and the door is still open for Jones to make his NFL debut on Sunday against Dallas, ironically one year to the day he last played in a competitive football game, the Peach Bowl when Washington took on Alabama.
"We're going to wait and see," coach Doug Pederson said on Friday morning when discussing Jones. "We're going to get through today. As you know, the physicality of banging, of hitting and stuff, is a little bit of a concern, but health-wise he's doing well. We'll get through today and see."
The Eagles did get through a Friday practice moved to Lincoln Financial Field due to frozen fields at the NovaCare Complex and the results were plainly evident.
Walker participated in walkthroughs on Wednesday and Thursday of this week before being listed as out on the final injury report. The Oregon product suffered a stinger on Nov. 26 against Chicago and missed the following two games. He eventually returned to the lineup but was labeled a healthy scratch against Oakland on Christmas night when veteran Dannell Ellerbe took over at Mike linebacker, now a sub-package position in the absence of Jordan Hicks.
The only domino left to fall here is Jones, a prospect many had rated in the top 15 of the 2017 draft back in April, being activated over the weekend.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen