Rodney McLeod has been a full participant all week at practice and the team captain is expected to return in Week 4. Whether he starts at strong safety, or sees limited snaps in certain defensive packages, is up in the air.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni didn’t want to reveal McLeod’s role versus the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s hard not to envision him not starting considering their depth at the position. K’Von Wallace was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 28 while Marcus Epps deals with a non-serious shoulder injury.
Mcleod should be locked and loaded. Still, Sirianni remained tight-lipped about his status.
“Yeah, for competitive reasons, we’re not going to dish that out,” Sirianni told reporters. “But, yeah, if he’s up, he’ll have a role. Obviously, we saw him right here and he’s full and he’ll definitely have a role.”
The Eagles officially ruled left tackle Jordan Mailata out for Sunday’s game (Oct. 3). Third-year man Andre Dillard will make his second consecutive start there. Everyone else was listed as full-go on Friday (Oct. 1), including second-year linebacker Davion Taylor who has been saddled with a calf injury since camp.
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
McLeod Trusted Plan, Ready to Go
The Eagles didn’t put McLeod on injured reserve coming out of camp because there was hope the veteran leader would be ready for Week 1. Obviously that didn’t happen. He never questioned himself or the medical staff, choosing instead to trust the process. McLeod was wearing a “Zero Regrets” hoodie on Friday (Oct. 1).
“Yeah, I feel ready to go,” McLeod told reporters. “Really trusted the plan that was put in place by doctors, trainers – and really, just been building, getting myself back in football shape over this past month. Being on the scout team trying to get those guys better but also getting myself better during this time.”
It’s been a nine-month process for McLeod who tore an ACL on Dec. 13, 2020 – his second major knee injury after enduring ACL and MCL tears in 2018 – and pondered his NFL future. He didn’t want to rush back too quickly this time.
“I had to do what was smart and not selfish,” McLeod said. “I feel good. I feel great about where I’m at and I’m excited to get back out there on Sunday.”
Sirianni Evaluates Dillard’s Performance
Dillard lost the starting left tackle job in camp, but his confidence never waned. The former first-rounder continued to work and believe in himself. And the game tape showed he played well last week versus Dallas, according to Sirianni.
“I think his performance on Monday night was, I thought, was really good, against two really good pass rushers,” Sirianni said, referring to Osa Odighizuwa and Micah Parsons. “They got some good pass rushers over there at Dallas and he played an outstanding game.”
Dillard mentioned that Sirianni’s message has been to “be a star in your role.” His role was to be the backup left tackle and when Mailata went down, he stepped in. He did his job. And did it well.
“Coach would always say, ‘Be a star in your role’ so I just took that to heart,” Dillard said. “I figured out what my role was and I just went with it.”