The Eagles released their final injury report ahead of Sunday’s showdown in Buffalo. The team will be without quite a few starters.
While head coach Doug Pederson once again felt hopeful that DeSean Jackson would return to action soon, it won’t be this week. The speedy receiver will miss his sixth consecutive game as he continues to rehab from a nagging abdomen injury. He was seen lightly running on a side field earlier this week at practice. Jackson obviously doesn’t feel comfortable enough to give it a go.
“He’s another one that’s getting close. Obviously, he’s been running and progressing,” Pederson said. “We’ll see where he’s at today with his rehab. Hopefully, we can get him maybe on the grass next week and see, but again, as we mentioned before, I don’t want to rush him back.”
The other five players ruled out for Sunday include Nigel Bradham (illness, ankle), Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck), Darren Sproles (quadricep), Jason Peters (knee), Tim Jernigan (foot). Maddox actually returned to practice Friday and has cleared the concussion protocol, but his neck isn’t 100-percent.
Lane Johnson was listed as a full participant at practice after missing Wednesday’s session due to an undisclosed illness. He will start Sunday at his normal right tackle position after a whirlwind week for the veteran. The secondary will also receive some reinforcements with the return of starter Ronald Darby.
Eagles Promoting Defensive Tackle from Practice Squad
The Eagles will likely promote second-year defensive tackle Bruce Hector from the practice squad to the active roster. Head coach Doug Pederson hinted that the move was coming since the team has one open roster spot following the release of cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
“He’s a guy that obviously has been in our system,” Pederson said. “Knows the defense. Knows the front. If given — I know he’s excited, if given the opportunity.”
Hector, an undrafted free agent out of South Florida, played in eight games for the Eagles last season and registered two tackles, plus half a sack. His presence gives the team an extra body along the defensive line, an area decimated recently by injuries. Fletcher Cox has been the lone soldier holding it down after Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan and Hassan Ridgeway were all lost for extended periods.
The Eagles also signed defensive tackles Anthony Rush and Albert Huggins to provide depth earlier this week. Both guys are expected to play Sunday.
“They are going to have to be,” Pederson said when asked if Rush and Huggins would play Sunday. “Otherwise Fletcher is taking every snap on defense. They are going to have to play.”
Cre’Von LeBlanc ‘Close’ to Returning to Action
The Eagles may also get a nice shot of adrenaline soon in the form of Cre’Von LeBlanc. The fourth-year cornerback was placed on the PUP list back in the middle of training camp and he’s finally eligible to return to practice. The team had been targeting Week 9 for LeBlanc’s first game. As always, they plan to be extra cautious and not rush him back.
“He’s close,” Pederson said. “He’s close to coming back, and again, just want to make sure that he’s 100 percent, but he’s getting there.”
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