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Eagles Rookie Report Card: Rookies noticeably absent in loss to Jets

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that sucked. It was inevitable the Eagles were going to lose at some point this season given how uneven they’d performed in their first five games of the season. Even so, that was as ugly as ugly gets to drop the Eagles to 5-1 on the year. While mistakes were abound, it was hard not to notice how little the rookies played and wonder how that factored into the loss.

Jalen Carter: N/A

Jalen Carter missed Sunday’s game and while his presence wouldn’t have guaranteed a win, it could have made a substantial difference given his big play ability. The defense played very well against the Jets, especially in the trenches. I just sat their watching the game thinking “the defense is one huge play away from winning this game despite how badly the offense has been” and Carter could’ve been that bit extra that pushed a good defensive performance to a great one. Hopefully his injury is not serious because its clear how valuable he is to this team.

Other notes:

  • Sydney Brown was out again with a hamstring injury, thinning out an already thin safety group (Justin Evans also out). An injury to Reed Blankenship during the game. forced the Eagles to put in newly elevated rookie Mekhi Garner at safety. Garner has never played at safety in college or the pros.
  • Eli Ricks got hurt during the game, creating even more instability in a secondary plagued by injuries.
  • Kelee Ringo did not see any time on defense despite all the injuries in the defensive backfield. He had a big mistake on special teams, running into Randall Cobb after Cobb had fairly caught a punt. Can’t make mistakes like that when you are not even getting snaps on defense.
  • Tyler Steen only saw three snaps on special teams the whole game. When the Eagles lost Lane Johnson to injury, they opted to put veteran Jack Driscoll at right tackle than Steen. That makes sense given Driscoll’s experience, but the fourth year player looked overmatched. Obviously hope Johnson will be okay soon, but one wonders if Steen gets a shot at right tackle in practice this week.
  • Nolan Smith continues to only see a handful of snaps on defense despite talk his role will expand. No one expects Smith to jump Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, or Brandon Graham in snap count, but I would love to see more Smith than Derek Barnett.

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