Upcoming Schedule Could Have Eagles Juggling Back End of Roster
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It's bad enough to come up just short after suffering a slew of injuries but moving forward for the Eagles may be the more difficult trick that getting over a missed opportunity in Atlanta.
That's because the Eagles have two games over nine days with a Thursday night affair in Green Bay coming rapidly after Sunday's home tilt against the Detroit Lions.
Of the walking wounded from Sunday night's game, defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (broken foot) and running back Corey Clement (shoulder) are likely already off the table for the Lions, according to NFL sources.
From there Doug Pederson will likely play the competitive advantage card and keep Detroit guessing as long as possible when it comes to the soft-tissue injury trio of receivers Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin), along with tight end Dallas Goedert (calf).
The good news is that in the building the Eagles will have a feel for the status early and can game plan to get players like Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside better prepared whereas in Atlanta, the two young players were thrown into the fire after spending most of the week mimicking Julio Jones on the scout team.
Another issue is juggling the roster and how you get that accomplished if you need short-term bodies at receiver, tight end and defensive tackle.
There are a number of avenues the Eagles could take but will likely need a body at wideout of both Jeffery and Jackson can't go against the Lions as well as TE if Goedert is shuddered for another week. At DT there is some wiggle room in that the Eagles are deep enough at defensive end to kick a player like Vinny Curry inside for a week or two.
The current practice squad features two receivers, Greg Ward and Marcus Green, two TEs in Alex Ellis, who was active Week 1, and Josh Perkins, and a defensive tackle in Bruce Hector.
Players who could be involved in the practice squad shuffle include cornerback Craig James, who was promoted last week, and offensive linemen Nate Herbig and Matt Pryor. Jernigan, who is expected to miss a month to six weeks, could be a candidate for injured reserve if the doctors believe that timetable is pushed back to two months, as could offensive tackle Jordan Mailata, who has been dealing with a balky back.
As a raw player, however, the last thing you want to do is take the ability to practice off the table for Mailata.
“That's the chess match we have to find out in the next couple days,” Doug Pederson admitted Monday. “We have a couple games here now in 11 or 12 days. We'll make it work. That's just what we do. We find a way, we make it work, we coach the guys up that are going to play, and we go play.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen