There is one Eagles player still standing amid a heap of bad hamstrings, unfortunate concussions and twisted ankles. It’s his job to stabilize the secondary this week.
When the Eagles line up to face the Jets Sunday, they will trot out only three fully healthy cornerbacks. One of those guys might not just be the key ingredient to this game, but the secret elixir that stirs the secondary’s drink for the rest of the season. Rasul Douglas has begging to be a starter ever since landing in the nest and now it’s time to prove his doubters wrong.
Douglas had one of the finest training camps of any of the Eagles cornerbacks, yet wound up as a backup on the depth chart. He’s been one of the few brights on a dismal unit that has surrendered 1,295 passing yards and nine touchdowns. It’s something no one in the room wants to talk about. Except one.
Douglas has quietly grown into a true leader on the defense — whether by necessity or choice, that’s a different conversation.
“I don’t have a secret. I guess I’m just blessed to stay healthy,” Douglas told reporters. “I hope I don’t get injured for saying that.”
The former third-round pick has jumped in and made an impact. According to Pro Football Focus, he has been a top 10 cornerback in the league over the past two weeks. All while holding together a patchwork secondary. While he is still searching for his first interception, the 24-year-old does have four passes defensed.
Douglas was especially dominant against Green Bay — minus the pass interference push-off in the second quarter — and made great reads in the red zone. Yes, the Packers racked up yards at will (422), but the Eagles stuck when they had to.
“I’ve still got a long way to go, but I keep working,” Douglas said. “The more playing you do, the more reps you get, the better you get.”
Douglas can take a giant leap this week in showing he deserves to start the rest of the year. He’ll most likely draw the assignment locking down the Jets’ best receiver Robby Anderson. It’s a battle he can definitely win — unless he gets bit by the Eagles’ bad luck injury bug.
Eagles Promote Ryan Lewis from Practice Squad
The Eagles made a minor roster move before the end of business Friday when they promoted cornerback Ryan Lewis from the practice squad. Lewis, an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh, was signed by the team on Tuesday and added to the active roster on Friday.
He could step in immediately and help a secondary decimated by injuries. He’ll be added to the backup rotation behind starters Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, and join Craig James and Orlando Scandrick on the depth chart.
Lewis spent the beginning of the year in Indianapolis where he played in three games for the Colts and recorded three tackles. The 6-foot, 195-pounder has seen action in 10 NFL games in his short career, while totaling 18 tackles and three passes defensed in stops in Indianapolis and Buffalo.
There has been no indication that he’ll play against the Jets, but the young cornerback is getting himself ready for every scenario.
“I think every single player should prepare like you’re going to play whether they’re practice squad or active,” Lewis told reporters, via PennLive. “So I just got to make sure I study my stuff, so if it does happen, I’m ready to go.”
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