The Philadelphia Eagles are locked and loaded for the NFC Championship Game. Not a single player was listed with an injury designation following the final practice of the week. That means all 22 starters will be dressed for action on Sunday, including right tackle Lane Johnson (groin) and nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox (toe).
Linebacker T.J. Edwards (ankle) was a limited participant on Friday, but he’s good to go. Nothing serious there. Johnson’s torn abductor is quite the opposite. It’s an injury that will require surgery in the offseason, but the Pro Bowler decided to forego the procedure in an effort to keep the NFL’s best offensive line intact.
Johnson – labeled a “true warrior” by Jalen Hurts – never considered missing a playoff snap. His toughness is admirable and it’s a trait on full display up and down the roster, according to head coach Nick Sirianni.
“We know this is a physically and mentally tough team. We have shown that,” Sirianni told reporters. “These guys have shown that for their entire careers. In my two years here, I’ve seen that with our guys of how physically and mentally tough they are. I say physically because you see that. You see them block well. You see them tackle well. You see them get off blocks well. You see them come after the football or protect the football with physicality and with toughness.”
UPDATE: The Eagles elevated safety Anthony Harris from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s active or inactive.
Avonte Maddox on Playing Status: ‘We’ll See’
Maddox might be off the injury report but there is no guarantee he lines up and plays on Sunday afternoon. C.J. Gardner-Johnson has been locking down the nickel cornerback spot in Maddox’s absence and it’s not absurd to think the Eagles keep the status quo. Reed Blankenship and Marcus Epps have been a formidable tandem.
Remember, All-Pro tight end George Kittle is coming to town and needs to be accounted for. He’s a matchup nightmare in the slot due to his sheer size at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds. The expectation is that Maddox plays, unless he were to tweak something during pre-game warmups.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day. We’ll see as time gets closer how I feel,” Maddox told reporters, via Eagles Today. “I felt pretty good. I was running around. First time being able to get back out there and do some things with the team in that way, so, like I said, going to take it day-by-day and see how I feel I when I get ready on Sunday.”
Normal Week for Quarterback Jalen Hurts
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had no limitations at practices or walk-throughs this week. He was ripping the ball with ease and showed no signs of any lingering effects from the strained shoulder injury that caused him to miss two games at the end of the regular season. Hurts, a finalist for NFL MVP, is considered a full-go for the NFC Championship Game.
“Yeah, I don’t think he’s thinking about that at all. He’s ready to go,” Sirianni said of Hurts. “Nothing there, still getting treatment, stuff like that. But he’s just ripping it like any normal week.”
Normal in terms of reps, but not normal in terms of how he’s feeling.
“I’ve felt better, but it doesn’t really matter. Gotta get it done,” Hurts said.