Seahawks Present Multiple Issues for Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - This is one of those weeks where Howie Roseman is really hoping Doug Pederson has a rabbit or two that the coach can pull out of his hat.
You always want to win in the NFL but when you're in Philly and facing a team like Seattle which has turned out to be better 11 weeks into the regular season, there is a little extra juice.
The squeeze that produced that nectar is the tortured narrative that Roseman sat on his hands when it came to chasing Jadeveon Clowney (he checked into it) and Josh Gordon (no interest), while also getting the personnel evaluation incorrect when it comes to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside vs. D.K. Metcalf (perhaps, but it's far too early to close the book on that one.)
From a practical standpoint, the fact that Sunday's game is a conference tilt against a foe ahead of you in that conference in which you've already lost too many in is far more important than saving face.
That said, if any of the aforementioned trio happens to make a play that lifts the Seahawks over the Eagles, Roseman may want to go the route of Nelson Agholor and just eliminate social media from his life.
The embattled Agholor, who confirmed deleting his Instagram account due to negative energy, vehemently denied creating a Bryan Colangelo-inspired burner account after missing his second consecutive practice with a knee injury on Thursday. Joining Agholor on the outside looking in was right tackle Lane Johnson, who remains in the concussion protocol, and third safety Rudy Ford, who rook a step back after being limited on Wednesday with an abdomen injury.
Both Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and Jordan Howard (stinger) continue to be limited as well and the latter had still yet to be cleared for contact at last word. Left tackle Jason Peters is also limited with a knee injury but is expected to start with rookie first-round pick Andre Dillard filling in for Johnson on the other side.
If both Agholor and Jeffery can't go the Eagles will almost have to promote one of their three practice squad receivers -- Greg Ward, Marcus Green or Rob Davis -- by Saturday.
Ward, a former quarterback in college at the University of Houston, has spent part of his practice week as the scout-team QB, mimicking Russell Wilson while the lengthy Daeshon Hall, a former teammate of Clowney's when both were with the Texans, has been portraying the pass-rushing star.
“They were very unique situations,’’ Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said this week in a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters when discussing bringing in the high-profile veterans. “We needed to find help improving our pass rush. When JD [Clowney] came along and he was available, we just thought it was a great opportunity.
“With Josh, he just became available [because the Patriots waived him]. He’s an extremely talented football player. He was looking for a place and we gave him a chance. He’s responded well.’’
The Eagles' problems are well-documented at WR but Gordon's personal issues trumped any of that from Philadelphia's perspective. Seattle, perhaps feeling better about a potential Super Bowl run, was willing to roll the dice.
“Just giving the guy a chance to play,” Carroll said. “We thought he could help the club. He’s very amicable, hard worker, learns really well, has jumped right in with us and we’ll just one week at a time, keep working with it. I’m glad to give him an opportunity. I hope he can make the most of it."
Metcalf, meanwhile, has compiled 35 receptions for 595 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season, after being selected No. 64 overall, seven slots after the Eagles went with Arcega-Whiteside, who has just three receptions for 43 yards while playing sparingly over 10 games.
“We thought he was an extraordinary player that had been somewhat not used that much in his college days,” Carroll said of Metcalf. “He didn’t catch a lot of passes in college, but we didn’t get strayed by the … there was a real narrative coming through the combine like he was too good to be true almost. He was too fast, too big, so guys went after all the other things.
“They took apart his shuttle times and this and that, and our guys just evaluated. We were thrilled we had a chance to get him. We couldn’t believe he was still there.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen