Lane Johnson Out, Jeffery, Howard, Agholor Questionable for Sunday
The Eagles are coming down the stretch run here, facing a Seattle Seahawks team coming off their bye week on Sunday.
There are a few storylines to pay attention to going into the game, namely the injuries, and head coach Doug Pederson talked about a few of them during his Friday press conference after the team’s final practice before they face Seattle.
As you can imagine, this is a big week for the Eagles, sitting a 5-5 on the season and battling injuries virtually all season long, this week is no different.
The team has already ruled out starting right tackle Lane Johnson, who is in the concussion protocol, rookie first-round pick Andre Dillard will make the start in his place.
"Looks good," Doug Pederson said when asked how Dillard has looked at right tackle this week in practice. "Each day he's gotten better. He's really settled in. He had a good day yesterday [and] expect the same today. So he's trending in the right direction."
The Eagles really struggled last week when Johnson left the game, and was replaced with veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
Three other key players were listed as questionable for Sunday's game, including wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Jeffery was limited all week in practice, Agholor did not practice at all this week.
"They're both trending - I guess that's the word of the day - in the right direction," Pederson described. " We know that in this sport and in this game, you have to play sometimes a little beat up and both these guys are tough guys and fully expect that."
Also listed as questionable for the game is running back Jordan Howard, who missed week with a shoulder injury.
"Until he's cleared for contact and until I get more updates from our medical team and the doctors, right now he's still day-to-day and working through the individual portion of practice," Pederson said.
If he is unable to go expect a bigger role this week from Jay Ajayi, who was signed late last week, but did not see a snap in the loss to New England. This week, with a full week of practice, you can expect him to have some role, especially if Howard is unable to suit up.
"He's had a good week," Pederson acknowledged. "Got him mixed in with the offense this week and got him up to speed. He's up on protections and he’s up on the run game, so expect to play him a little bit more possibly, yes."
The Eagles will also get back linebacker Nigel Bradham this week. Bradham hasn't played since an ankle injury in Week 6. What will Bradham's role be is something to keep an eye on with Nate Gerry filling in, in his absence and playing well in coverage.
"Nate, gosh, he's been a solid contributor," Pederson explained. "He’s been starting on defense. He's been in and out of different sub-package groups and things like that. He’s just a guy that has busted his tail. He has really helped us in many ways in a lot of different phases."
Meanwhile, the Seahawks are rather healthy entering Sunday's game, but do have one key name on their injury report - defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Clowney will be a game-time decision, after not practicing all week with hip injury.
“He (is dealing with) a sore hip and he had a little off campus treatment today, so we’ll see how he is on gameday,” Carroll told the Seattle media today.