The Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2017 NFL season with a secondary not exactly loaded with depth. Then starting cornerback Ronald Darby went down in Week 1. Then replacement starting corner Jaylen Watkins and starting safety Rodney McLeod got hurt in Week 2. Not exactly ideal.
During his Monday press conference, Doug Pederson said he’d have more of an update on the status of McLeod and Watkins on Wednesday. He did say they’re “day-to-day” for now. But it sounds like they might be more week-to-week.
My understanding is that the hamstring strains to Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins will sideline them for a few weeks.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) September 18, 2017
Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice has more specific information on the nature of McLeod’s injury.
According to a source, the initial diagnosis is a grade 1 hamstring strain. Grade 1 is lowest of the grades, or the least severe. McLeod may or may not play this Sunday at home against the New York Giants, but the initial prognosis is that it is not a long-term, serious injury, assuming proper rest and treatment.
The loss of McLeod is significant. He’s a pretty good starting safety. Corey Graham, his backup, has a lot of NFL experience but the veteran showed his age on the whiffed tackle attempt which led to a Kareem Hunt touchdown.
Watkins being out might not be so awful due to the presence of Rasul Douglas. The rookie corner really stepped up on Sunday. It’d be great if Douglas can step up and be a capable starter moving forward, but the third-round rookie still has a lot to prove.
Philadelphia’s secondary has performed pretty well — relative to expectations, at least — through the first two games of the 2017 season. The Eagles’ dominant pass rush has surely helped take pressure off the back end of the defense. The Birds will need to maintain that effort moving forward, especially due to these new injury issues.