Friday’s (or, on Monday Night Football weeks, Saturday’s) injury report is always the one that matters, because it comes with the arbitrary designations we’ve given so much weight to over the years. This year we eliminated one of them — probable — because, turns out, it always meant “active.” So we have questionable and doubtful to label players who will or won’t play football. The Eagles have listed just two players as questionable this year; both played.
Today, the Eagles listed Fletcher Cox (ankle) and Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) as questionable, although it seems only one of those players fits the designation. Doug Pederson has said multiple times he expects Cox to play on Sunday, and Cox practiced at least somewhat on two of the three practice days this week. If Cox doesn’t play on Sunday, I will eat my shorts. He is not questionable.
McKelvin, on the other hand, is questionable. He only practiced once this week, although the day he did practice was Friday, which means he is probably improving as the week goes along. His hamstring has bothered him since the season began, and he’s actually missed two games this season because of the injury. It is fair to call McKelvin’s status questionable.
Ryan Mathews, who missed Friday’s practice because he was ill, did not receive a designation on the injury report, probably because the coaches know he will be playing on Sunday and don’t feel the need to call him questionable. The same could be said for Cox’s status, though, so let’s stop pretending these words mean anything.
More reason to ignore all these words: Washington tight end Jordan Reed did not practice at all this week, and is still in concussion protocol. Today, Jay Gruden said Reed is questionable for Sunday’s game, despite still not having been cleared to play by medical professionals as of 48 hours before kickoff. Ignoring all the obviously bad idea of someone in Reed’s medical situation playing a devastatingly violent game in 48 hours, it makes no sense to call Reed questionable. He didn’t practice all week, and things look grim. He is doubtful. I am doubtful he will play. Jay Gruden, although he won’t say it, is doubtful Jordan Reed will play.
These words are dumb. Coaches use them without any sort of consistency. I am ready for 11:30 A.M. on Sunday, when the words will be active and inactive, and they will mean something.