On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers take the prime-time stage against the Philadelphia Eagles. Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green nation kindly volunteered to answer our questions about the Eagles and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: The Eagles played this past Sunday without starting receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson on offense as well as Timmy Jernigan along the defensive line. During the game, offensive tackle Andre Dillard and cornerback Ronald Darby also went down with injuries of their own. How many, if any, of Philadelphia’s injured players look likely to return in time for Thursday’s game against the Packers, and who will replace them if they can’t suit up?
DeSean Jackson, Timmy Jernigan, and Ronald Darby are all expected to be out for Thursday’s game. So the Eagles will be without their best deep threat, their fill-in starting defensive tackle, and one of their starting cornerbacks.
Jackson’s absence really hurts because his deep threat ability is so valuable. We saw how the Eagles were quickly able to come back from a big deficit in Week 1 with Carson Wentz finding Jackson down the field for two touchdowns.
Jernigan was the No. 3 defensive tackle entering the season and he was elevated to a starting role after Malik Jackson suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. Jernigan’s now expected to be out for a month and the Eagles are down to just Fletcher Cox, Hassan Ridgeway, and Akeem Spence. Spence wasn’t even on the Week 1 roster and now he’s seeing significant playing time. Not ideal.
Darby’s injury might actually be good news for the Eagles’ defense. Offenses have rightfully been picking on him over and over since he’s been struggling. The Eagles might be better off with Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas starting full-time on the outside. With that said, Jones, Douglas, and Avonte Maddox are now currently the Eagles’ only three healthy corners. So they’re suddenly very thin at that position.
It seems like Alshon Jeffery might be able to play this week. Doug Pederson suggested he was optimistic about Jeffery being able to play and the receiver was listed as limited in Monday’s practice after not practicing at all last week. But even if Jeffery DOES play, it’s hard to believe he’ll be 100%. He could be on a pitch count.
Dallas Goedert might be able to handle a slightly bigger workload this week after being pretty limited against the Lions. Or he could very well be limited again. Tough to say.
Pederson said Dillard is “okay” so we’ll see if that’s really true or not because he was listed as a DNP for Monday’s practice.
Starting linebacker/special teams captain Kamu Grugier-Hill is expected to return this week. He’s been out since suffering a knee injury in early August. Grugier-Hill was having a really good training camp before getting hurt so maybe he can give Philly’s defense some kind of boost. He should at least be able to help the Eagles’ special teams unit.
We’d like to thank Brandon. Be sure to check out the rest of our Q&A session with Bleeding Green Nation over the course of the week as well as our Q&A session over there. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Thursday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Eagles versus Packers.