Now two weeks into the 2021 NFL season, we’re starting to get a sense of how some former Eagles players may be used by their new teams, and more than a handful of guys seem to have found their place on special teams. This week we’ve got another injury for Carson Wentz, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is starting to emerge for the Texans, and Nelson Agholor wasn’t as big a factor for the Patriots as he was during the opener.
Here’s how things went in Week 2 for some former Eagles:
Carson Wentz sidelined with ankle injury
The former Eagles’ quarterback made it almost the entire game in Week 2, but with the Colts tied with the Rams at 24, Wentz ended up on the sideline with an ankle injury after being twisted backward on a tackle. Backup QB Jacob Eason ended up finishing the game, as Wentz struggled to put weight on his right leg. They lost 24-27.
#Colts QB Carson Wentz is dealing with injuries to not just one ankle, but both ankles sources say. He’s having tests today to determine the severity of his sprains suffered yesterday.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 20, 2021
Before his injury, Wentz was 20-of-31 for 247 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Obviously, the Eagles still have some interest in the quarterback’s success with a conditional first round pick in 2022 still on the line. As a reminder, Wentz needs to play 75 percent of the offensive snaps during the regular season, or 70 percent of snaps if the Colts makes it to the postseason, in order to get their first round draft pick next year.
Things have been more than a little rocky already this offseason, with Wentz having to undergo surgery on a lingering issue with his foot, and then missing time just before the season on the COVID-19 list. His debut hasn’t been spectacular, but Eagles fans should hope he plays well enough to keep the starting job and also finds a way (somehow) to stay/get healthy.
Wentz did get a chance to reconnect with a former Eagles teammate last week when the Colts signed safety Andrew Sendejo. Sendejo did see playing time just a few days after signing with his new team, but solely took special teams snaps.
On the other sideline, for the Rams, former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was on the field for just a head-scratching three offensive snaps. There was a lot of questioning whether the veteran is fighting an injury, or just not part of the game plan, but he was noticeably absent for most of the game.
Kamu Grugier-Hill has big day for Texans
Houston linebacker Zach Cunningham sat out the first quarter due to disciplinary reasons, and with that, Grugier-Hill got his second start of the season. He made the most of his opportunity on Sunday, despite the loss, finishing the day with nine total tackles, including three for loss and one sack.
Some of the other former Eagles currently suiting up for the Texans include WR Danny Amendola (one catch for 9 yards), SAF Terrence Brooks (one tackle), CB Tremon Smith (four tackles), and punter Cameron Johnston. Johnston booted the ball four times for 209 yards, including a 56-yard long ball, and one that landed in the 20 and another that was a touchback.
Many former Eagles relegated to special teams
The Seahawks have two former Eagles on their roster, but CB Sidney Jones has only been used on special teams so far this season (10 snaps in Week 2), and, similarly, CB Ryan Neal has only taken special teams snaps, albeit more of them, and even recorded a tackle on Sunday.
Another former Eagles secondary player only getting special teams work in Week 2 was safety Andrew Adams, who saw 20 snaps for the Buccaneers against the Falcons.
It’s no surprise that safety Rudy Ford is seeing mostly special teams work for the Jaguars. He was a ST captain with the Eagles, and his work with that group was praised by Urban Meyer early in camp. He’s taken nearly 70 percent of ST snaps in both Weeks 1 and 2, but has seen a small increase in defense snaps, with 12 and 15, respectively.
In Southern Florida, wide receiver Mack Hollins has been taking an average of 60 percent of special teams snaps, and even recorded three total tackles through the first two Dolphins games of the year. Hollins did get 16 offensive snaps in Week 2, but wasn’t targeted.
Tight end Derek Carrier got his first offensive start for the Raiders on Sunday, but still only lined up for 11 snaps — going 2-of-2 for 13 yards. Carrier is getting most of his game time on special teams, taking 84 percent of snaps in Week 1 and 89 percent in Week 2.
- Inactives for Week 2: Nick Foles (Bears), Josh Adams (Jets)
- Injuries: Ronald Darby was placed on IR for the Broncos with a hamstring tear.
- For someone who was told in the offseason that his role would be reduced, linebacker Jordan Hicks is still on the field for nearly 100 perfect of the Cardinals’ defensive snaps. In Week 2 he recorded six total tackles and a pass breakup in Arizona’s win over Minnesota.
- Defensive end Steven Means is still starting for the Falcons, and is on the field for over 75 percent of defensive snaps, but he only recorded four tackles on Sunday against the Bucs, and hasn’t really stood out — although, to be fair, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for this Atlanta team.
- The Saints have not started out well in 2021, getting their second loss of the year (7-26) in Week 2 to the Panthers. Malcolm Jenkins is doing everything he can to help his team, getting back up to 97 percent of defensive snaps, recording six total tackles, and even lining up for 32 percent of special teams snaps on Sunday. His teammate, and another former Eagle, DT Albert Huggins has increased his defensive playing time but hasn’t earned a starting role yet, and only saw two total tackles against Carolina.
- After a lot of action in Week 1, receiver Nelson Agholor saw just three targets for the Patriots on Sunday despite being on the field for 86 percent of the offensive snaps. He still made all three catches for 21 yards, but wasn’t nearly as much of a factor in Week 2. Jalen Mills similarly had a ‘meh’ week against the Jets, making just three total tackles in New England’s Week 2 win.