The Philadelphia Eagles’ injured reserve list has a new addition. Destiny Vaeao is the latest player to end up on IR.
The Eagles waived/injured Vaeao on Tuesday in order to make room for cornerback Dexter McDougle on the 53-man roster. With Vaeao going unclaimed on waivers, he reverted to Philadelphia’s injured reserve list.
Vaeao reportedly suffered a quadriceps injury during the Eagles’ win over the Giants on Thursday Night Football.
Despite playing the sixth most snaps (40.8%) of any Eagles defensive lineman this season, Vaeao hadn’t been very productive. The 2016 undrafted free agent signing only had two tackles, two quarterback hits, one sack, and one tackle for loss. By comparison, Treyvon Hester — who was recently called up from the practice squad — already has three tackles and one quarterback hit while playing in just 6.8% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps.
Still, losing Vaeao means the Eagles now have just three full-time defensive tackles on the 53-man roster: Fletcher Cox, Haloti Ngata, and Hester. And Ngata is still dealing with a calf injury; the 34-year-old was limited during Wednesday’s practice.
The Eagles can always have Michael Bennett and Brandon Graham play interior snaps. It’s also possible Tim Jernigan, who is now eligible to be activated from the non-football injury list, returns at some point this season.
Speaking of potential returns, here’s a look at the players on injured reserve and when they’re eligible to be activated. Keep in mind the Eagles can only designate two of the following players to return. Players eligible to return to game action from injured reserve must miss a minimum of eight weeks, but they can begin to practice again after just six weeks.
WR Mack Hollins - Eligible to be activated after Week 8
TE Richard Rodgers - Eligible to be activated after Week 8
WR Mike Wallace - Eligible to be activated after Week 10
S Rodney McLeod - Eligible to be activated after Week 11
RB Jay Ajayi - Eligible to be activated after Week 13
DT Destiny Vaeao - Eligible to be activated after Week 14
I’ve excluded cornerback Elie Bouka and linebacker Paul Worrilow from the list here because the Eagles aren’t going to be using their two return spots on those fringe roster guys.
It should also be noted Ajayi isn’t going to be able to return from his ACL injury.
Wallace seems like the most obvious candidate to come back. His recovery timeline from a fractured fibula (non-displaced) should allow him to return at some point. Not to mention the Eagles could use the deep threat he presents.
It’s unclear if McLeod might be able to return if the Eagles go on a deep run. Philadelphia might try to hold out hope for that possibility. If they determine it’s unlikely, the Eagles could always activate Hollins to give them more depth at receiver and on special teams.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl while having a lot of significant names on IR last season. With the 2018 campaign not even halfway over, Philadelphia has already placed eight players on the potentially season-ending list.