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Eagles’ bad injury luck at defensive tackle continues as they place Hassan Ridgeway on injured reserve

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Down three of their top four DTs.

NFL: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles placed defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway on injured reserve, according to an official announcement from the team.

Ridgeway suffered an ankle injury during the Eagles’ Week 7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Doug Pederson described his status as “week-to-week” earlier today. Ridgeway had eight total tackles, four tackles for loss, and two sacks before getting hurt.

The Eagles have had really bad injury luck at the defensive tackle position this year. Free agent defensive tackle Malik Jackson suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. Timmy Jernigan entered the starting lineup in Week 2 and suffered a foot injury that’ll cause him to miss at least six games, if not more. Now it’s Ridgeway going down.

On top of three of the Eagles’ top four defensive tackles getting hurt, Fletcher Cox missed the entire 2019 offseason as he recovered from a foot injury. Cox clearly hasn’t been 100%; it took him until Week 7 to notch his first sack of the season. It sure doesn’t help that he’s been taxed with playing extra snaps since the Eagles haven’t been able to count on a deep defensive tackle rotation.

The Eagles are now down to Cox, Anthony Rush, and Albert Huggins at defensive tackle. Rush and Huggins are undrafted rookie free agents who only signed to the Eagles’ 53-man roster earlier this week. Neither player has ever played in a regular season NFL game.

Just not ideal.

The Eagles could look to sign another defensive tackle with the open roster spot created by Ridgeway going to IR. The team reportedly worked out veteran defensive linemen Datone Jones and Willie Henry on Tuesday.

Trading for a defensive lineman prior to next Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline is another option for the Eagles. Pederson mentioned that possibility during his Wednesday presser:

Q. The trade deadline is less than a week away. I know you don’t have direct input into personnel decisions, but have you and Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman had any conversations about situations and whether to add players?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yes.

Q. Specifically any position?

DOUG PEDERSON: No [jokingly/laughter]. As you guys know, and it’s kind of a redundant answer, but we’re always going to look to add value and talent and depth. We understand our injury situation, especially at defensive line. So if we just start there, let’s say, and look and see what’s available, see what we can do. But we’re going to do what’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles, as you know. I think that’s where we start. To answer the question, yes, Howie and I have had conversation.

Q. How does that collaboration work? At times do you go to Howie and say...

DOUG PEDERSON: He usually walks to my office or I usually walk to his. Sometimes the phone [jokingly/laughter].

Q. Because of some of the issues, whether they are injury related, whatever, do you go and say, “Look, I could use some help at this particular position?”

DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, and I think that’s the thing that I think Howie and I are on the same page about. He sees the same injuries that we see, and he knows the bind that we’re in at certain positions. He’s constantly, with his team of guys, working to find players that are out there, whether they’re on other team’s practice rosters or with the trade deadline coming up, if it’s through that, whatever it might be. Or our practice roster, which we’ve made moves [with] already this season. He’s in tune with all that. We’re in direct communication a lot, especially these past few days in trying to get the best players in here that we can.

The Eagles now have six players on injured reserve after the Ridgeway addition: Ridgeway, Jackson, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Corey Clement, Jordan Mailata, and Joe Ostman. It’s worth noting LeBlanc is eligible to come off IR as soon as Week 9.

The Eagles originally acquired Ridgeway by trading a seventh-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts during the 2019 NFL Draft. Ridgeway is set to be a free agent after this season. The team could look to re-sign him for defensive tackle depth.