Eagles Going ‘Back to the Future’ at CB
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones have gotten plenty of opportunities to seize the starting cornerback positions with the Eagles and the results of those chances have the organization pushing CTRL-ALT-DEL.
On Friday morning before practice, head coach Doug Pederson was asked if he still views returning veterans Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills as starters.
“I think so,” Pederson conceded. “I think those two would just kind of assume their roles moving forward, yeah.”
Both Mills and Darby have been practicing this week in advance of Sunday night's game in Dallas and both seem to be on track to play.
Since the beginning of Philadelphia's 2017 Super Bowl season, the Eagles are 13-5 when Mills and Darby have been the starting CBs although you can certainly poke some holes in that sample size because the team was 9-1 when things were going swimmingly as a whole in 2017 before reverting back to .500 at 4-4 last season.
The two haven't been together since Oct. 28 of last season when Mills suffered the murky foot injury that cost him nearly a calendar year. Darby, meanwhile, tore his ACL in November and made it back for the start of the 2019 campaign but went down with a hamstring injury against Detroit in Week 3 and has missed nearly a month.
Pederson acknowledged that each has “been doing extremely well” in practice this week but conditioning also comes into play, meaning a rotational system, at least in the short-term.
“I think you still would rotate,” Pederson intimated. “It just depends on how both of those guys feel with coming off their injury and working themselves back into game shape, I guess. But I would anticipate that both of them would get a lot more time moving forward.”
If Mills and Darby do start this week, veteran and former long-time Dallas CB Orlando Scandrick will likely be the nickel cornerback with both Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck) and Cre'Von LeBlanc (foot) still a ways away. Douglas and Jones would support Mills and Darby on the outside although it's also also conceivable that it would be a three-man rotation with the embattled Jones being benched.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen