Eli is on the Docket for Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The New York Giants finally turned the page earlier this season and after 10 games, they have to backtrack.
A high-ankle sprain to rookie quarterback Daniel Jones means that the 2-10 Giants will be going "Back to the Future" with Eli Manning, the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback who was benched earlier this season at least two years late of being two years late for an organization caught up in sentimentality.
Manning has had a dismal history against Philadelphia in general, losing 17 of his past 21 starts to the Eagles but his reemergence has at least some in the City of Brotherly Love spooked.
Much of that, though, has to do with the Eagles' own disappointing season, one that has an organization once perceived as a legitimate Super Bowl contender back in the summer at 5-7 with the only guarantee of postseason action tied to running the table over the final month of the season.
The shift from Jones, a mobile QB with a penchant for holding onto the football in order to make plays, back to the 38-year-old Manning, a statuesque pocket passer intent of getting the football out of his hands as quickly as possible, is a stark one.
“Eli, [mobility is] not a huge part of his game,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz acknowledged earlier this week. “Jones had been holding the ball a little bit in the pocket. We know Eli is not going to hold it. The ball is going to come out pretty quick. It changes just a little bit of the game, just the dynamic of a quarterback."
Last week in Miami, a 37-year-old warhorse in Ryan Fitzpatrick diagnosed Schwartz's varied looks and went the 50/50 route when he read man coverage. On the back end of that, the lengthy DeVante Parker was able to torture Eagles cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby with his ability to high point the football.
"It's going to be important to cover quick and get to the quarterback quick and knock their timing off of their passing game when Eli is back there because he's such a timing quarterback," Schwartz assessed.
Overall all the signs point toward Philadelphia, which has been dominant on defense when playing at home more often than not during the Schwartz era.
As for Eli, the Eagles are 22-10 against the Giants with Manning at the controls and have won nine of their last 10 under those circumstances.
“He and Daniel Jones are obviously different players,” linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill said. “But Eli is Eli. So you’ve got to prepare. We’ve played against Eli for a while now but at the same time he’s still a vet, he’s still a two-time Super Bowl MVP. He’s still a great quarterback.”
EAGLES BRING BACK MICHEL TO PS
The Eagles brought back wide receiver Marken Michel to the practice squad on Thursday. Michel was with the team during the offseason and through training camp before being waived at the final cutdown.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound receiver, who is the older brother of Patriots running back Sony Michel, snared four receptions for 117 yards with a long touchdown in the preseason. Previously he was a star with the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL, where he was a teammate of Alex Singleton, prior to joining the Eagles.
A UMass product, Michel was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Vikings in 2016. He worked out for the team on Monday with a group of fove others before being brought back.
Those missing from practice Thursday included receiver Nelson Agholor (knee), defensive end Derek Barnett, who got banged up in Miami last week, and linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill. Doug Pederson, meanwhile, confirmed that running back Jordan Howard is still not cleared for contact but also insists the running back's shoulder/stinger injury is not a season-ending one.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen