The bad news is the Philadelphia Eagles suffered two significant defensive line injuries before the pads even went on in training camp. The good news is those players still might be able to play against Washington Football Team in Week 1.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport says both starting defensive end Derek Barnett and Javon Hargrave “have a realistic shot at being ready for the opener.”
The Eagles officially described Barnett’s status as “week-to-week” due to a “lower body injury.” Rapoport reveals that Barnett is specifically dealing with an ankle issue. It’s perhaps worth noting that Barnett missed two games in December last year with an ankle injury but it’s unclear if it’s the same one.
It’s frustrating to see Barnett dinged up because entering the 2020 season with a clean bill of health was viewed as a sign for optimism with him. Barnett missed the entire Eagles’ offseason heading into last season and now he might be facing the same situation even if he’s able to play against Washington. The Eagles really need Barnett to step up for them in both the short-term and the long-term. The team can only hope this injury doesn’t derail a potential breakout season.
As for Hargrave, it was encouraging to see him post on Instagram that he’s “good and ready for the season” after suffering a pectoral strain. Still, he’s missing out on the only real practice time he was going to get with his new team. Will the combination of his injury and lack of adjustment time to a new scheme hamper his effectiveness?
Even if they’re less than 100%, the Eagles would rather have Barnett and Hargrave out there on the field for them than not. It just remains to be seen how much their injuries will impact their regular season performance.