The Eagles continue to lose key players on the defensive side of the football. The team placed linebacker Nate Gerry and defense end Genard Avery on injured reserve on Friday. Both players will miss at least three games, including Sunday’s game.
Gerry, the oft-criticized starter, had missed back-to-back practices this week with an ankle ailment. It’s unclear how serious the injury is but look for rookie Shaun Bradley to see increased snaps in his absence. The Eagles will likely start Duke Riley and T.J. Edwards. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has long defended Gerry’s inconsistent play.
“So I think that any time that you have people outside the building that grade players, you can get things like that,” Schwartz said. “I tend to try to keep our evaluations in-house and just work on improving in our own building.”
Meanwhile, Avery (elbow) was starting to gain a cult following in Philly as a key situational pass rusher. He has 1.5 sacks and 6 quarterback hits in six games this season, including a pressure that led to an interception versus San Francisco. Avery came over in a trade from Cleveland at last year’s deadline.
“That was sort of the breakout game we’ve been waiting for from him,” Schwartz said of Avery’s performance against the 49ers. “He’s always been a skilled pass rusher. It’s just fitting him in with all the other stuff. I think he’s really done a good job of refining his technique and limiting his — sticking with what works best for him.”
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Update on Alshon Jeffery’s Calf Injury
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson attempted to update Alshon Jeffery’s ongoing injury saga. Remember, the Eagles chose not to place the veteran possession receiver on the PUP list coming out of training camp.
It’s a new calf injury for Jeffery that has been limiting him at practice, not the foot injury dating back to last year. So, how did this new setback happen?
“Well, I’m not necessarily sure specifically,” Pederson said. “It was in practice, I guess two weeks ago, we had a Thursday game, so he didn’t do much last week. I believe he injured it in practice, not sure specifically what play or when it was.”
Jeffery isn’t expected back before the bye week. The best-case scenario would be Nov. 15 versus New York.
“But listen, we’ve got a little time with the bye coming up and listen,” Pederson said. “I’m optimistic now moving forward especially after the bye, hopefully, we get some guys back and he’s one of them.”
Lane Johnson In, Miles Sanders Out
It appears Lane Johnson will be the starting right tackle on Sunday. The injured All-Pro was a full participant at Friday’s practice despite his nagging ankle and knee injuries. So were defensive end Vinny Curry (illness) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quadricep), along with rookie safety K’Von Wallace (neck). All four guys are locked and loaded for the Cowboys game.
Unfortunately, starting running back Miles Sanders (knee) has officially been ruled out. No surprise there. Sanders was one of seven players listed out: T Jack Driscoll (ankle), CB Craig James (hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (calf), CB Cre’von LeBlanc (quadricep).
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