The injury bug sure is biting the Philadelphia Eagles hard lately.
Not too long after it was reported that Lane Johnson is out for at least the rest of the regular season with an abdominal issue, NFL Network reported that Avonte Maddox is “out indefinitely.” The Eagles’ nickel cornerback is said to have a “significant toe injury.”
Maddox got hurt on a play where he sacked Dak Prescott during the Eagles’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
For the most part, Maddox was looking pretty good prior to the injury. And the Eagles sure looked a lot worse without him with Josiah Scott getting abused in the slot. Scott’s struggles prompted the team to give K’Von Wallace some playing time at nickel. It’s hard to feel great about those guys as the top options in the slot moving forward.
The good news is that the Eagles might soon be getting C.J. Gardner-Johnson back. CJGJ is eligible to return from injured reserve as soon as this Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Of course, just because CJGJ can be activated does not necessarily mean he will be. It remains to be seen where he’s at in his recovery from a lacerated kidney.
CJGJ obviously has the ability to play in the slot after doing so for the majority of his NFL career prior to arriving in Philly. The Eagles could opt to put him back in that role with Reed Blankenship remaining a starting safety next to Marcus Epps.
When Maddox got hurt and had to go on injured reserve earlier this year, the team opted to play Scott in his spot. They were able to get by with him but the results clearly haven’t been pretty when he’s played. Scott is allowing a 109.7 passer rating when targeted this year, according to Pro Football Reference.
The Eagles’ recent rash of bad injury luck isn’t necessary a death knell for the team. We’ve obviously seen them overcome similar adversity in the past; just look at their Super Bowl title. But when your lose your starting right tackle (one of the very best players on the team) and your starting nickel corner ... and your starting quarterback is banged up ... well, that’s just not ideal. The margin for error is thinner.