The Eagles are getting healthier at certain positions but not on the defensive line. Seven total players missed Thursday’s practice, including two explosive edge rushers. Their status remains very much up in the air heading into Sunday night’s NFC East showdown versus Dallas.
Defensive ends Genard Avery (elbow) and Vinny Curry (illness) didn’t participate in the pen-ultimate tune-up session, plus starting linebacker Nathan Gerry (ankle), rookie tackle Jack Driscoll (ankle), reserve cornerback Craig James (hamstring), wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf), and starting running back Miles Sanders (knee).
All absences were expected heading into the workweek, save Gerry. The struggling backer has been a lightning rod for criticism through seven weeks, with his harshest critics calling for Gerry to be benched or cut. It marked the second straight day he was on the injury report.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz rushed to Gerry’s defense on Oct. 6 following that infamous tie to Cincinnati.
“And I would just caution this: There’s probably a lot of plays that people outside of our building think might be his fault; that he just happens to be the closest guy when someone else made a mistake, and I think they end up blaming him a lot of times,” Schwartz said. “He’s sort of the closest guy just from plays, and I mean that’s just sort of the way the ball bounces. We just need to be more efficient overall, and more consistent overall and he just plays his part in it.”
Follow the Heavy on Eagles Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Cre’Von LeBlanc Headlines ‘Limited’ Players
The Eagles also had three players listed as “limited participants” at Thursday’s practice: T Lane Johnson (knee, ankle), CB Cre’Von LeBlanc (quadricep), DT Malik Jackson (quadricep). Jackson and Johnson were both limited on Wednesday and look to be game-time decisions. LeBlanc’s name was a new addition to the injury report and could be a cause for concern in Week 8.
Remember, the Cowboys boast an explosive three-headed monster of a receiving corps and Strap is arguably the Eagles’ best slot cornerback. If he can’t go, it will be up to Nickell Robey-Coleman to contain rookie CeeDee Lamb.
“But that’s life in the NFL,” Schwartz said on Oct. 20. “I mean, you start the season, and you have one plan and then on a weekly basis or a monthly basis or whatever basis, whether it’s game plan, personnel matchup or injury, you have to be able to be flexible and change.”
Meanwhile, rookie safety K’Von Wallace practiced in full as he recovers from the neck injury that kept him out last week versus New York.
Report: Jalen Reagor Will Play Sunday Night
On a positive note, rookie receiver Jalen Reagor is expected to come off IR and start for the Eagles. The team’s number one draft pick received final clearance from doctors, according to multiple reports, and the cast has been removed from his surgically-repaired thumb. Reagor will take over for DeSean Jackson as the top speed threat.
“He’s going to be out there today [at practice],” head coach Doug Pederson said earlier this week. “Again, he’s another one we got to get him back into the offense and then just see where he’s at.”
READ NEXT: Travis Fulgham Makes Impact vs. 49ers