Eagles Lose Starting LB to Knee Injury, 6-Time Pro Bowl DT Getting MRI: Report

Fletcher Cox

Getty Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles walked away with a 25-20 victory in their Week 1 matchup against the New England Patriots, but the Eagles may have lost a few key defenders, at least for a few weeks.

Eagles starting linebacker Nakobe Dean suffered a foot injury in the game, and as reported by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Philly LB is expected to miss multiple weeks. The injury will not require surgery, according to Rapoport.

Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who has been with the Eagles since they drafted him in the first round back in 2012, also left the Pats game a bit hobbled, and John Clark of NBC Philadelphia reported Cox and Dean were slated to get MRIs.

Fletcher Cox Doesn’t Think His Injury Is Serious

There is no word yet on whether Cox will play in Philadelphia’s Thursday night game against the Minnesota Vikings, but the veteran DT seemed to be in good spirits after the win over New England despite being a bit hobbled.

Cox told Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports that he didn’t think he’d miss much time, and that the injury was just a “little friendly fire.” The MRI was likely just a precaution. That’s good news for an Eagles ‘D’ that will be without Dean for at least several weeks. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed Cox’s injury wasn’t a significant one on September 11:

Philadelphia has a short week with a Thursday night game approaching, so it’s possible the team rests Cox if he’s not quite ready. As McLean noted, much will depend on how much pain Cox is in when game time rolls around. The 32-year-old defensive lineman started the season off strong, finishing with three tackles, a QB hit and a hurry in Philly’s win over New England.

Cox has started 168 games for the Eagles over his 12-year career, and he has endeared himself with his fierce and determined play. The veteran DT has 65.0 career sacks, 157 QB hits, 15 forced fumbles and 85 tackles-for-loss, so Eagles fans everywhere are breathing a collective sigh of relief to know he won’t miss significant time.

Dean, on the other hand, will miss time, but should return with plenty of season left.

Nakobe Dean Could Have Stint on Injured Reserve

Dean, the team’s starting middle/”MIKE” linebacker, also missed time this preseason with an ankle injury. In his second season with the Eagles, the former third-round pick out of Georgia appeared in all 17 games as a rookie in 2022, but he played sparingly, seeing the field for just 34 snaps.

His role in defensive coordinator Sean Desai’s scheme is a crucial one, as Dean calls plays for the defense. With Dean missing some time, the Eagles are set to sign former Tennessee Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans to the practice squad, per insider Adam Schefter.

“I’m extremely excited,” Dean said prior to the start of the season on August 31, via Sports Illustrated. “I was extremely excited last year no matter what. It’s football season and how blessed you are definitely this time of the year. You kind of reflect back on how blessed you are to be in a position to even play this sport that you love, so it’s nice to be able to be a part of the team that’s worked as hard as us, put in the hours, I’m blessed and of course, I’m excited for the season.”

Hopefully, he’ll be back sooner than later.

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