Eagles Injury Report: Veteran Tackle Limited, 4 Players Miss Practice

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Jason Peters. (Getty)

The Eagles’ offensive line has been looking like Swiss cheese. Slice off another chunk.

Starting left tackle Jason Peters was “limited” during Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury. This is alarming on many levels, mostly due to the lack of backup options. If the future Hall of Famer can’t give it a go on Sunday then that job will fall on either Jordan Mailata or Matt Pryor. Or possibly rookie Jack Driscoll who can play either guard or tackle. The bad news came on the same day that starting right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) returned to the field in full.

One more thing: Aaron Donald and the Rams are coming to town, against an offensive line that surrendered eight sacks to Washington in Week 1. Head slap emoji. The new projected starting line includes Jordan Mailata (left tackle), Isaac Seumalo (left guard), Jason Kelce (center), Nate Herbig (right guard), Lane Johnson (right tackle). Good luck.

“Obviously Aaron Donald is a great player, tremendous player,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “There are not many offensive lines out there that really kind of slow this guy down. I mean, he just goes from snap to whistle. He’s a hundred miles an hour and that’s tough.”

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Miles Sanders “On Track” to Play This Week

The Eagles had been trending in the right direction earlier in the day, in terms of getting a few key starters back on offense.

Miles Sanders (hamstring) and Lane Johnson (ankle) were back at practice on Wednesday and the team remains hopeful both players can go in Week 2. Johnson already commented to “count on it” when asked if he would be on the field, while Sanders hasn’t spoken much since aggravating his hamstring on Aug. 19. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported both Sanders and Johnson were “on track” to play this week.

If Johnson couldn’t go, Driscoll would once again draw the start at right tackle. Boston Scott and Corey Clement would likely rotate in at running back with Sanders on the shelf for a second straight week. Want good news? Starting defensive end Derek Barnett (hamstring) was back on the field

“Lane and Miles will definitely get some practice time today, and see where they are at the end of today,” Pederson told reporters before practice. “And as far as the game goes on Sunday, we’ve got some time. We’re optimistic that Lane can play and if not, then Jack Driscoll gets another opportunity to start. That’s where we’re at at this point.”

Defensive end Brandon Graham (concussion) is still in the league’s protocol for head injuries, so his status remains in jeopardy. Ditto for defensive tackle Javon Hargrave who is now dealing with two ailments (pectoral strain, hamstring).

“He’s getting closer. Not going to put a timetable on it,” Pederson said of Hargrave. “We’re going to get him back when we get him back.”

Hargrave did practice and there is growing optimism on him. Meanwhile, DeSean Jackson and Fletcher Cox both missed Wednesday’s practice for what the team ruled as “veteran rest” days. Alshon Jeffery (foot) was missing in action again as he (hopefully) looks to make his 2020 debut in Week 3.

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Musical Chairs Continues on Offensive Line

The Eagles seem content on keeping Nate Herbig as the starting right guard for another week, although the Peters’ situation clouds the picture.

The team did go out and steal veteran Jamon Brown from the Bears’ practice squad, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be up to speed quick enough to start. He still needs to get into the playbook and learn the terminology, something that could take up to a week.

“I think a couple of days, a week, he’d be okay, and at least functional in a game,” Pederson said of Brown. “He’s got to get in the mix and he’s got to get in the playbook.”

So Herbig is the guy right now, although the leash is getting tight.

“And in Nate’s case, listen, it’s Nate’s job right now,” Pederson said, “and he has to do everything he can to keep that.”

The team also called up guard Sua Opeta from the practice squad to give them 10 offensive linemen. The final decision will likely come down to Lane Johnson’s health as he battles back from a lingering ankle injury and clean-up surgery.

Jalen Hurts Could Be Active This Week

Don’t be surprised to see second-round pick Jalen Hurts on the Eagles’ sideline this week, either. Hurts’ unique combination of speed and athleticism could make him an intriguing option if the offensive line starts caving in under Aaron Donald’s pressure. The rookie quarterback could certainly be valuable as a gadget-play specialist, too.

On Wednesday, Pederson hinted at making Hurts active for Week 2 when he admitted “you’d love to have all three quarterbacks up.” He revealed it’s going to be a week-to-week discussion, adding that Hurts didn’t nearly have to be a part of the gameplan to be active.

“He [Hurts] doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of the game plan in any specific way,” Pederson said.

Pederson knows from experience having been a third-stringer during his career. He was usually active on gameday, just as an insurance policy and emergency quarterback.

“I was the third guy and I was — of course the rules were different — but I dressed every week,” Pederson said. “And you were kind of that emergency third and it would be great to have your three guys up because it does give you some versatility if you wanted to do something with the other two guys.”

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