Kendricks Dealing with Broken Nose
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Mychal Kendricks was already dealing with a reduced role in the Eagles defense under Jim Schwartz. Now, the weak-side linebacker is dealing with a fractured nose and knee contusion suffered in Chicago on Monday night.
Despite the dual injuries, however, Doug Pederson believes that Kendricks “should be okay” to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
“He took a shot to the forehead, helmet-hand type of combination,” the coach said when discussing Kendricks’ injury at his Tuesday afternoon press conference. “He'll be fine. ...Day-to-day, but he should be okay for this weekend's game against Pittsburgh.”
Through two games, Kendricks has played in just 39 defensive snaps, 38 percent of the team's total, and has amassed three tackles.
That lack of activity continues a troubling trend of reduced playing time for Kendricks. As a rookie in 2012 under Andy Reid, Kendricks was essentially a full-time player, toiling in 88 percent of the defensive snaps. During the Chip Kelly regime, that number decreased ever year from 83 percent to 66 and then 52 percent last season.
Pederson also listed backup guard Isaac Seumalo, who is still dealing with a pectoral strain as day-to-day, while tight Zach Ertz (rib) and cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), who missed the game against the Bears, remain uncertain moving forward.
“Both of those guys are healing fine, but we’ll still monitor it and see where we're at game time,” Pederson said.
Lane Johnson, meanwhile, is expected to play against the Steelers but that could be it for the foreseeable future as the starting right tackle was suspended by the NFL for violating the PED policy, pending an appeal Oct. 4.
“Until I hear from the league office, Lane’s my starting right tackle,” Pederson said. “If (he’s suspended), then we go back to what we did in training camp. But until that time, we’re full go.”
The training camp reference would mean Allen Barbre kicking out to right tackle and Seumalo starting at left guard, although Pederson said last week that veteran Stefen Wisniewski has now moved ahead of the rookie, partially because of the pec injury.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen