Four players did not practice: running back Wendell Smallwood, starting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, starting defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, and starting cornerback Ronald Darby.
It’s surprising to see Smallwood listed on the report because there was no obvious indication he got hurt in Week 4. Then again, Smallwood has been injury-prone since being drafted.
It’s hard to know what exactly to make of Smallwood’s injury until we have more information on the severity. For now, it’s a concern that he missed practice. The Eagles are already thin at running back with Darren Sproles out for the season. Smallwood is the one filling his role.
If Smallwood can’t play, the Eagles will have to rely on the trio of LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, and Kenjon Barner. Byron Marshall is still on the practice squad.
Cox still hasn’t practiced since suffering a calf injury in Week 3. Here’s what Doug Pederson had to say about his status on Wednesday.
Day-by-day, honestly. He's doing well, he's progressing, and we'll see where he is later today.
Last week, Les Bowen reported Eagles players believe Cox may miss this week and possibly next as well. It remains to be seen if that’s true, but the fact he missed practice on Wednesday isn’t encouraging.
Beau Allen is in line for another start if Cox can’t play. He played well in Week 4 but he’s still no Cox.
Jernigan missed practice on Wednesday. When asked if he’s in jeopardy of missing this week’s game, however, Pederson said: “No, not at all.”
Being without both Cox AND Jernigan would be very tough for the Eagles. Allen, sixth-round rookie Elijah Qualls, and recently-promoted-from-the-practice-squad Justin Hamilton are the only other fully healthy defensive tackles on the roster.
Pederson said Week 7 is “kind of the target deadline” for Darby but also cautioned that he’s “not going to hold it as a hard deadline.”
The original timeline given for Darby’s return was four-to-six weeks. It’s likely safe to say he won’t play this week. It also seems like it would be hard for him to get ready for the Panthers on Thursday Night Football in Week 6. Week 7 seems like a realistic best case scenario.
Note that the Eagles’ bye isn’t until Week 10.
After being out since suffering an injury in Week 1, Vaeao returned to practice on Wednesday in a limited capacity. Getting Vaeao back would be ideal since the two starters, Cox and Jernigan, are dealing with injuries.
Graham missed the past two games with a hamstring injury. He returned to practice as a full participant on Wednesday. That’s good news because the Eagles were thin at safety when he was out.
Like Graham, Watkins missed two games with a hamstring injury. Now he’s back. He gives the Eagles more depth at both cornerback and safety.
Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Wednesday)
Did Not Participate
CB Ronald Darby (ankle)
DT Fletcher Cox (calf)
DT Tim Jernigan (heel)
RB Wendell Smallwood (knee)
DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist)
LB Jordan Hicks (ankle)
S Rodney McLeod (hamstring)
S Corey Graham (hamstring)
S Jaylen Watkins (hamstring)
Arizona Cardinals Injury Report (Wednesday)
Starting left tackle D.J. Humphries and backup defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche did not practice. Starting left guard Alex Boone, starting wide receiver John Brown, starting linebacker Karlos Dansby, starting defensive end Josh Mauro, rotational wide receiver J.J. Nelson, and backup linebacker Josh Bynes were all limited.
Did Not Participate
OT D.J. Humphries (knee)
DL Robert Nkemdiche (calf)
OG Alex Boone (chest)
WR John Brown (quad)
ILB Josh Bynes (groin)
ILB Karlos Dansby (knee)
DL Josh Mauro (calf)
WR J.J. Nelson (hamstring/tooth)