In a whirlwind Wednesday afternoon, the Eagles suddenly found themselves extremely thin at cornerback. Behind starters Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown a gaping chasm loomed. Nickleback/kick returner Ellis Hobbs was sent to the Injured Reserve for the rest of the season with a severe neck/spinal injury that will require surgery. When questioned about the injury, head coach Andy Reid had this to say:
"They think they can go in and fix it, where he would have an opportunity to continue his career," Reid said. "It's one of those things. It's too bad. He's done a nice job for us."
Call me paranoid, but that quote doesn't sound very promising for Hobbs' NFL future. Neck and head injuries can often be career-ending. I hope you'll all join me in wishing Hobbs the best thoughout his recovery.
To make matters worse, dimeback Joselio Hanson was suspended by the NFL for the next four games for the use of a banned diuretic taken before last year's NFC Championship game in Arizona. Hanson was tight-lipped about the situation, offering only this line via text message:
"I’m just going to say that the NFL don’t treat players the same."
Hanson, of course, is referring to the case of Vikings defensive linemen Kevin and Pat Williams, who tested positive last year for StarCaps, a similar diuretic. They appealed their suspensions and their case was overturned. Hanson's appeal was denied. He will now be placed on the Reserve/Suspended list without pay for the next four weeks and his loss will surely be felt by the Eagles' secondary and special teams.
To fill in for the two missing cornerbacks, the Eagles signed former Lion and "Mr. Irrelevant" of the 2007 draft Ramzee Robinson after an impressive workout earlier this week. According to Robinson, the young cornerback is ready and eager to fill Hobbs' shoes:
"I love to tackle. I love to hit. I just have a passion for the game. I really love the game of football. I take my job very seriously. I'm the guy that goes out and plays with his heart exposed." Robinson said. "It's just my mentality. I don't believe in taking plays off. I don't believe in finding the easy way out of things."
The team also activated Jack Ikegwuonu from the practice squad, who will play in his first regular-season game this Sunday. Ikegwuonu also appears ready to be a contributor in place of Hanson:
"It would be an understatement if I said (I was) excited," said a smiling Ikegwuonu. "I'm just ecstatic and just looking forward to whatever my role is, I don't care. I just want to help the team in whatever capacity it is.
As for Hobb's kick return duties, Jeremy Maclin, Quintin Demps, and Macho Harris will rotate in at returner until a permanent replacement is found. Finally, former Giant Stoney Woodson was brought back to the Eagles practice squad to take Ikegwuonu's place.