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Eagles rule Darius Slay OUT for Cardinals game, make roster moves

Welp.

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles will officially be without their top two starting cornerbacks for their Week 15 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Avonte Maddox was placed on injured reserve on Friday evening and now Darius Slay is being downgraded to OUT after originally being listed questionable to play. The Eagles announced Slay, Grayland Arnold (also questionable), and Jason Huntley (illness) will not be traveling with the team out to the desert.

Being without Slay is obviously a huge deal. Had he been healthy enough to suit up, the Eagles would’ve been counting on him to line up against DeAndre Hopkins.

Now it’s not even perfectly clear who the Eagles will start at cornerback! Jalen Mills will probably shift out of his safety role to play on the outside. The Eagles might also opt to use Nickell Robey-Coleman on the boundary in non-nickel situations with either Michael Jacquet or Kevon Seymour coming in when NRC shifts to the slot. Or it might just be Jacquet, an undrafted rookie free agent, or Seymour, who hadn’t played in an NFL game since 2017 prior to last week, starting on the outside across from Mills.

With Mills getting displaced and Rodney McLeod going on injured reserve, it’s also not perfectly clear who will start at safety. It could be Marcus Epps in the free safety role with K’Von Wallace filling in for Mills. Rudy Ford and Elijah Riley are the only other safeties on the 53-man roster.

The Eagles do have a fifth safety available, however, after elevating Blake Countess from the practice squad. Philly’s 2016 sixth-round pick was recently re-signed for his third stint with the Birds.

The Eagles also elevated undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Jameson Houston from the practice squad for the second week in a row. He never played a single NFL snap before logging four special teams snaps (zero defensive) last week. Houston is clearly only available for emergency purposes.

All told, it’s hard to like the Eagles’ chances of stopping the Cardinals offense with so much changes in the secondary. It’s not just about the lack of talent; it’s also about the communication issues that could very well arise. This week’s game could get ugly for Philly’s defense.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES INJURY REPORT (SATURDAY)

OUT

S Grayland Arnold (hamstring)
RB Jason Huntley (illness)
CB Darius Slay (concussion)

QUESTIONABLE

DT Malik Jackson (concussion)

...

RESERVE/INJURED

OT Andre Dillard
OT Jack Driscoll
LB Nathan Gerry
WR DeSean Jackson
CB Craig James
OT Lane Johnson
CB Cre’Von LeBlanc
CB Avonte Maddox
S Rodney McLeod
TE Josh Perkins
OT Jason Peters
DT Hassan Ridgeway
LB Davion Taylor