Eagles Defensive Leader Undergoes Season-Ending Knee Surgery

Rodney McLeod

Getty Eagles safety Rodney McLeod heads up the Social Justice Leadership Council in Philadelphia.

Rodney McLeod is resting comfortably after undergoing season-ending surgery for the second time in three seasons. The fiery defensive leader for the Philadelphia Eagles tore the ACL in his left knee on Dec. 13 and left the game with tears streaming down his face.

The road to recovery will be a long one — typically, it takes six to nine months — but the starting safety has done it before. Of course, McLeod will be 31 years old by the time 2021 training camp begins and his body might not be as resilient as it was in 2018 when he tore the MCL in his right knee. McLeod knows it won’t be easy to do it again, but it starts with removing all those doubts that first creep into your mind, something he recently discussed on The Rodney McLeod Hour. 

“All these thoughts go through your head and you gotta just pour all of the emotions out. They have to come out,” McLeod said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I feel confident that I will be able to make a full and healthy recovery, which is encouraging for me. I know what it entails and I just have to prepare mentally for this next step.”

McLeod inked a two-year, $8.65 million contract ($3 million signing bonus) this past offseason and proudly took on the leadership void left by Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles have looked confused in the secondary the past two weeks without him out there.

“I would say this about Rodney, No. 1, he’s proved that he can comeback from an injury like this,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of McLeod. “And it’s such a gut punch when a respected player like Rodney, and who is a very productive leader for us, has had a really outstanding year.”

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Eagles Protect 4 Practice-Squad Players

The Eagles protected four players on their practice squad on Tuesday so no other franchise can poach them. The most recognizable name on that list is defensive end Joe Ostman who saw nine snaps on defense last week. He may be counted on even more in Week 17 with Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox potentially out. Josh Sweat is done for the year, too.

Meanwhile, converted tight end Hakeem Butler could make his (triumphant?) return to the active roster after that ill-fated goal line miscue in Week 7. He has seen one offensive snap in two games this year. The Eagles also protected linebacker Rashad Smith and offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho.

Dwayne Haskins Goes Unclaimed on Waivers

The Washington Football Team released former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins on Monday and the quarterback has gone unclaimed on waivers. That means any franchise is free to pick him up and, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, two teams have already expressed interest in Haskins.

The Eagles play Washington on Sunday night and veteran Alex Smith will take over the starting quarterback duties for them. If you’re wondering if Philly should pursue Haskins, the answer is no. Unequivocally no. It would only bring more competition (read: controversy) into their already-fragile quarterbacks room.


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