Andre Dillard left Thursday’s practice with an undisclosed injury after missing time last week due to a shoulder strain.
The Eagles starting left tackle never returned to the field and Dillard’s name didn’t show up on the team’s unofficial injury report. Good news, right? Wrong. According to Derrick Gunn, Dillard suffered a “biceps injury” and the extent of it remains unknown. The Eagles are hoping there is no tear as those injuries can take three to four months to recover from in a best-case scenario. Maybe longer, if surgery is required.
Later in the day, ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed the report and added that Dillard will require season-ending surgery. That’s it. The 24-year-old’s first season as the Eagles’ starting left tackle is over. Let the search for a replacement at his spot begin.
The shocking news comes one day after Doug Pederson praised Dillard’s work taking over for Jason Peters at left tackle. Jordan Mailata jumped into the starting lineup on Thursday, a role the 6-foot-8, 346-pounder has been handling off and on since last week. On Thursday, the Eagles trotted out a first-team offensive line consisting of Mailata at left tackle, Isaac Seumalo at left guard, Jason Kelce at center, Nate Herbig at right guard, Matt Pryor at right tackle.
There was a thought the team might move Peters back to left tackle but he was out Thursday due to a “personal maintenance day,” something all veterans over the age of 30 are entitled to. Meanwhile, starting right tackle Lane Johnson remained sideline as he battles an undisclosed “lower-body injury.” Matt Pryor, who normally slides in at right guard, had to move over to right tackle. Musical chairs. Fun stuff.
Pederson addressed a rash of injuries to his offensive line on Wednesday by telling reporters those things were bound to happen. The head coach isn’t concerned at this time but understands he has to be smart about not pushing the guys too hard.
“We’ve got to be smart,” Pederson told reporters. “I’ve got to be smart with how we practice and the length of practice and keeping guys healthy. But I don’t have a concern at this time, obviously. We want to make sure guys are healthy and fresh obviously going into the season.”
The other variable is the novel coronavirus, always lurking in the backdrop and sometimes forcing guys to miss a few days here and there.
“You know, obviously we’re in camp and things happen and injuries and guys are going to miss a day or two here and there,” Pederson said. “The other thing is with the new protocols and having to basically release 10 guys prior to training camp, a couple of those guys were offensive linemen.”
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