It sure didn’t take long for the Eagles’ offense to be hit hard by injuries on Sunday evening. Dallas Goedert (calf) got hurt in pregame warmups and didn’t play a single snap. Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin) both barely played after getting hurt early in the game. The absence of these key skill players meant the Eagles were down to just one tight end — Zach Ertz — and three wide receivers: Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Injuries are part of the deal in the NFL, yeah. But the frequency at which guys were getting hurt ... and it happening to such critical players ... the Eagles were an incredibly tough spot. They lost three players who combined for 15 receptions, 221 yards, and four touchdowns last week.
Doug Pederson on NBC10 now, on injuries— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 16, 2019
“It makes it really hard to execute what you worked on all week and in practice. We had all kinds of plays with our two tight ends on the field. It affects the throwing game and your running game. We had to make adjustments pregame” pic.twitter.com/Pi8MchYjgu
It looked like Carson Wentz may have suffered some kind of rib injury but there’s been no official word if that’s the case. Wentz was only evaluated for a concussion at one point. And he wasn’t very happy about how that process went down. Wentz was able to rebound after a really bad first half but it ultimately wasn’t enough for the win.
Except for Jason Peters missing one snap, the starting offensive line played the entire game. It’s especially noteworthy that Brandon Brooks was able to make it through a full game after being on a pitch count last week. The o-line didn’t turn in their best performance, allowing three sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and failing to get the run game going (2.3 average).
The wide receiver injuries forced Mack Hollins to step up and he did okay with five receptions for 50 yards. One of those receptions was pretty important!
Carson Wentz just did THAT. How?pic.twitter.com/h4YmmlaX5J— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 16, 2019
JJ Arcega-Whiteside had to play most of the game. It’s clear he and Wentz weren’t on the same page, which isn’t shocking when you consider they haven’t had a lot of reps together. The rookie wideout was targeted four times but only had one reception for four yards.
The Eagles’ running back rotation wasn’t much different in terms of total playing time. In Week 1, Miles Sanders played 48%, Darren Sproles played 31%, and Jordan Howard played 23%. Those figures are in line with the Week 2 rotation. What WAS different, however, is how the Eagles split up their running back touches. Sproles took total 12 touches against Washington but only had two receptions for five yards and zero carries against Atlanta. Weird. Sanders had 13 total touches to Howard’s nine against the Falcons. None of the running backs were very effective as runners or in the passing game. Less than ideal.
The Eagles demoted Andre Dillard from his role as an extra offensive lineman / blocking tight end by using Halapoulivaati Vaitai this week instead. Vaitai wouldn’t have played a single offensive snap if Peters didn’t have to come out for a brief spell.
Ronald Darby saw an increase in playing time after only logging 72% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps in Week 1. He didn’t look ready for more playing time considering how he struggled to run down the field with Falcons receivers. Weird to see the Eagles rotating their corners and yet keeping Darby on the field despite his struggles.
Sidney Jones got the start in this game but he still split playing time with Rasul Douglas. Douglas played 84% to Jones’ 51% in Week 1 so the gap between these two has since narrowed.
Hassan Ridgeway became the Eagles’ second defensive tackle with Timmy Jernigan getting hurt. Such bad luck to have Malik Jackson and Jernigan go down in back-to-back weeks. Akeem Spence went from fourth defensive tackle to third defensive tackle after being on the couch in Week 1.
Andrew Sendejo’s playing time decreased from 57% in Week 1 to 30% this week. The veteran safety had a big sack on a blitz but he struggled in coverage. Reminder that the Eagles will lose a 2020 fourth-round compensatory pick if he’s on the roster past Week 10.
Nathan Gerry saw an increase in playing time after only logging two snaps in Week 1. He had a huge pick on Matt Ryan in the end zone. Gerry also nearly played every special teams snap.
Josh Sweat actually got some pressure (!) in his limited playing time. And he ended up (barely) surpassing Vinny Curry in the defensive end rotation.
Newly signed cornerback Craig James played one defensive snap following Jones’ brief injury. He also contributed on special teams.
Veteran linebacker L.J. Fort had logged zero defensive snaps through games so far. As with Sendejo, the Eagles will lose the opportunity to get a 2020 fourth-round compensatory pick if he’s on the roster past Week 10. Fort was outsnapped by undrafted rookie free agent lnebacker T.J. Edwards in this game.
Corey Clement fumbled on the Eagles’ kickoff return coming out of the half. Then he got hurt and was seen wearing a sling after the game. Not the best night!
DID NOT PLAY
INACTIVE: Nate Sudfeld, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig, Matt Pryor, Shareef Miller, Daeshon Hall
ACTIVE: Dallas Goedert