McLeod injured his knee during the Eagles’ Week 3 win over the Colts. After being involved in a tackle, the 28-year-old defender laid on the ground in serious pain before slowly limping off the field.
This is a significant loss for Jim Schwartz’s defense. McLeod was off to a good start this season and now the Eagles are pretty thin on the back end. McLeod’s injury seemingly forces 33-year-old Corey Graham to see more playing time, which isn’t ideal because he’s best served as a role player in defensive subpackages. By extension, McLeod’s absence could limit the Eagles’ ability to move Malcolm Jenkins around the team’s defensive formations.
McLeod’s injury could also mean an elevated role for Deiondre’ Hall, whom the Eagles acquired in a trade with the Bears earlier this month. Hall has only logged special teams with Philly to this point. That could soon change with him becoming more involved on defense.
The Eagles could very well look to add another safety to their 53-man roster. Tre Sullivan is on the practice squad if they want to promote him. Eric Reid is no longer available after signing with the Panthers earlier today (naturally) so free agent options now include players like T.J. Ward, Mike Mitchell, Tyvon Branch, Eddie Pleasant, and Andrew Adams. It’s worth noting the Eagles put Adams through a workout earlier this month.
If the Eagles are looking for safety help on the trade market, there’s this guy available named Earl Thomas. I’m sure you’ve probably never heard of him but he’s pretty good. He’d also be pretty expensive to acquire in terms of draft pick compensation.
We’ll have to wait and see what the Eagles end up choosing for their replacement strategy. For now, it really sucks that McLeod is done for the year not even four games into the season.