In fact, their injury luck only worsened on Wednesday with news that Will Parks is out for “multiple weeks” with a lower body injury. With that designation, the Eagles’ third safety is in jeopardy of missing Philly’s Week 1 game ... if not more. Sigh.
Let’s run through a quick overview of the team’s injury situation before diving in further on each player.
S Will Parks (lower body) - Multiple weeks
DT Javon Hargrave (pectoral) - Multiple weeks
DE Derek Barnett (ankle) - Week-to-week
WR Jalen Reagor (shoulder) - Week-to-week
QB Carson Wentz (lower body) - Day-to-day
OT Lane Johnson (lower body) - Day-to-day
CB Avonte Maddox (lower body) - Day-to-day
RB Miles Sanders (hamstring) - Day-to-day
WR Quez Watkins (lower body) - Day-to-day
DE Vinny Curry (lower body) - Day-to-day
DT Hassan Ridgeway (lower body) - Day-to-day
DE Genard Avery (lower body) - Day-to-day
Parks has been getting a lot of reps with the Eagles’ first team defense in a subpackage role. He was looking good there in addition to being active on special teams. Him being out for “multiple weeks” hurts the Eagles’ safety depth and could force rookie K’Von Wallace into a bigger role. Philly also might decide to keep five safeties on the 53-man roster. Rudy Ford, Marcus Epps, and Grayland Arnold are the guys on the bubble in that situation.
UPDATE: More clarity on Parks from NFL Network. Not great!
#Eagles DB Will Parks suffered a hamstring injury per source. Original timetable is 4-6 weeks, but knowing Parks past with injuries, I would assume there’s a good chance it will be shorter than that.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 2, 2020
I'm told it's a hamstring injury for Eagles S Will Parks. He suffered it in practice. He's expected to miss at least a game or two.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) September 2, 2020
Hargrave has missed all of camp with a pectoral injury. Reports indicate that he has “a realistic shot” at playing in Week 1. But how close to 100% will he be? And how ready is he to play after not taking many reps in Philly’s defense? The Eagles’ defensive coordinator was asked about as much on Wednesday morning.
Q. Have you had to reassess your expectations for the role for Javon Hargrave because he hasn’t had this time to learn either the scheme or the new position?
JIM SCHWARTZ: I mean, it’s set him back from a standpoint of time on the grass. It’s just been a perfect storm or an imperfect storm, however you want to put it. If we would have had a complete off-season and he would have missed the time in camp, you’d feel real good about just plugging him in. But you combine no off-season, new to the scheme, new to the team... I mean, he was introducing himself to the locker room in the beginning of training camp. Generally, that stuff is all below. There’s been some stuff he’s been able to do. He’s a student of the game. He’s stayed really active. He’s up on all of our stuff. But there is a difference between that and doing it in person. Now, he also has been in the league. He’s not a rookie. He has experience under him. There’s a lot of things that we do that are different than other people, but there’s also a lot of things that we do that have some carryover for him. When he’s healthy, he’ll be up to speed pretty quickly. I’m excited about him. I think he’s going to be a great addition to us. He’s a great complement for the other guys we have.
Barnett also reportedly has “a realistic shot” at playing in Week 1 despite missing all of camp so far. Barnett finally entering a season full healthy was going to be critical to him potentially having that breakout year the Eagles need him to have. One can only hope his ankle issue won’t linger.
Reagor’s reportedly out for two-to-four weeks so the rookie might miss Week 1. Hey, remember when Jordan Howard had a shoulder injury that lasted way longer than expected last year? Can’t say that Reagor is definitely in the same boat but that’s probably worth keeping in mind. Reagor’s injury opens up playing time for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
The most important player on the team has missed three practices over four days. The Eagles are saying it’s nothing serious and he’s unlikely to miss playing time. Still ... you really don’t want to see Wentz on this list!
Johnson has missed nine practices in a row despite only being listed as day-to-day. The Eagles already have enough issues on the offensive line with Johnson healthy. They really can’t afford him to be less than 100%. Case in point: Jordan Mailata is taking first team right tackle reps in his absence.
Hey, another starter missing practice time, why not? Maddox is a new addition to the injury report as of Wednesday. Rasul Douglas would likely be starting opposite of Darius Slay if Maddox has to miss time.
The Eagles’ emerging star running back is dealing with a hammy. Here’s what Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan recently had to say about it:
Mosher: “We’ve said for a while he’s gonna be out with a lower-body injury and it’s not that bad. What I’m told was it’s a hamstring injury that he’s got. It’s not the least mild one, but also not the most severe.”
Caplan: “I’m told he’s got a hamstring strain. I noticed he was doing a shadow drill [Sunday], which is when you’re mimicking what you’re going to be doing … just doing shadow pass blocking. Well guess what? If he’s got a bad injury, he ain’t doing that.”
Watkins missed a few days of practice before returning on Tuesday. But then he was out again on Wednesday. With Reagor out and Watkins banged up, the Eagles just might have to keep seven wide receivers after all (good news for Deontay Burnett). They could place one or two of these guys on injured reserve and activate them after three missed games.
Curry’s missed several days now. The Eagles are probably taking it easy on the veteran but his status could also reinforce a decision to keep six defensive ends.
Might the Eagles have to keep five defensive tackles with Hargrave and Ridgeway banged up? Ridgeway’s been having a good camp so hopefully his injury doesn’t hurt his progress.
Avery hasn’t done anything to make the roster based on merit. The Eagles should just stash him away on injured reserve for the 2020 season.
It’ll be interesting to see how these injuries impact the Eagles’ roster and practice squad construction. The team must get down to 53 players before 4:00 PM Eastern on Saturday, September 5.