Through their first two games, the Philadelphia Eagles managed to stay relatively healthy, but they will enter Week 3 without their starting LT in Jordan Mailata, their starting RG in Brandon Brooks and their best DE in Brandon Graham.
Fortunately for the Eagles, the Cowboys’ defensive line is extremely depleted.
Here’s the Eagles-Cowboys final injury report, with analysis.
• LT Jordan Mailata (knee): Mailata sprained his knee during practice Thursday. It’s not an injury that will keep him out for long, but he won’t be able to play one of the biggest games of the Eagles season.
In place of Mailata will start Andre Dillard. Mailata and Dillard entered training camp as competitors for the starting LT job, but it became clear and immediately apparent that Mailata was going to win that “competition” as Mailata excelled and Dillard struggled.
As we pointed out in our “five clashes to watch, “The Eagles’ biggest face-off advantage, by far, is their offensive line against Dallas’s severely depleted defensive line. That advantage would be nullified to some extent if Dillard had to start in Mailata’s favor. The trade would almost certainly force the Eagles to rethink protection strategies as they would seek to give Dillard easier responsibilities and more help.
Brett Toth, who was a healthy scratch for the first two weeks, will now likely be the swing tackle.
• S Rodney McLeod (knee): Marcus Epps and K’Von Wallace have replaced security in McLeod’s absence.
• LB Davion Taylor (calf): A calf injury caused Taylor to miss most of training camp. He left the Niners game early with another calf injury, allegedly related. Taylor played nine plays in regular defense Sunday, and on opening sight he appeared to be active.
• RB Boston Scott (illness): Scott has yet to play an offensive snap this season.
Notable players in IR, PUP, suspension, etc.
• BY Brandon Graham (IR): Graham’s season has ended with an Achilles rupture. On the field, Graham was arguably the Eagles’ best defensive player in 2020. Off the field, Graham has limitless energy and positivity, and he’s a player you’ll only want to have if you’re an NFL head coach. His personality was certainly very helpful this offseason for a shaky new head coach like Nick Sirianni, and first-time defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Sirianni called Graham the “heart and soul” of the team.
The Eagles still have some depth as a defensive end, but it will be interesting to see how they use it. Throughout training camp, Graham and Ryan Kerrigan mainly played on one side (usually the left side) of the line, while Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett played on the right side. To be determined if Sweat and / or Barnett will get plays on the left side, or if rookie DE / DT Milton Williams will take on a bigger role as Graham’s direct replacement. It will probably be a bit of both.
• RG Brandon Brooks (IR): Brooks suffered a chest injury against the 49ers. It’s “just” a pectoral strain, as opposed to a tear, so while he will likely lose time (about 8 weeks, according to Lane Johnson) on injured reserve, it’s not a season-ending injury. 2021 second-round pick Landon Dickerson replaced Brooks at RG on Sunday. He didn’t play well.
• OL Jack Driscoll (IR): Driscoll is in short term IR with a pectoral injury. He would be the first lineman off the bench if Lane Johnson went down, making it at least a notable loss, but not a crushing one. As a rookie, Driscoll appeared in 11 games, starting four, playing a total of 300 snapshots, and looking like a competent gamer. However, he faced a handful of injuries, including an MCL sprain that ended his season.
• TE Tyree Jackson (IR): Jackson suffered a broken back during joint practices with the New England Patriots. The injury did not require surgery, and the team considered his recovery period at that time to be 8 to 10 weeks. That was five weeks ago, so (check math) Jackson should be back in 3-5 weeks from now.
Rather than close out Jackson for the season by placing him in the season-ending IR before the 53-man cuts, the Eagles opted to allow Jackson a spot on the starting roster and were able to place him as a result. in short term IR, allowing you to return anytime after Week 3.
• CB Josiah Scott (IR): Scott was injured in the third preseason game against the Jets. He made it onto the team, but it will be on file for at least three weeks. Since then, the Eagles have signed a pair of corners in Andre Chachere and Mac McCain.
As noted above, the Cowboys’ defensive line is extremely depleted. They will not feature DE DeMarcus Lawrence, DE Dorance Armstrong, DE Bradlee Anae, DT Carlos Watkins, DT Neville Gallimore and DT Trysten Hill.
• DE Dorance Armstrong (ankle): Armstrong has played in 48 career games, starting at 4. He has 64 career tackles and 2.5 sacks.
• DT Carlos Watkins (knee): Watkins had 27 tackles and 2 sacks for the Texans in 2020. He signed with the Cowboys in free agency this offseason.
• OT Ty Nsekhe (illness): Nsekhe is a versatile 35-year-old backup lineman who has come off teams in the Arena Football League (including the Philadelphia Soul), the CFL and six NFL teams.
• S Donovan Wilson (groin): Wilson was a playmaker for the Cowboys in 2020. 71 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 FFs and 3.5 sacks. He started Week 1 against the Buccaneers, but left early with a groin injury. Jayron Kearse will start in his place.
• LB Keanu Neal: You might remember Neal from the Eagles’ divisional round playoff game against Atlanta, when he was a safety for the Falcons:
Foles takes a hit while pitching, Keanu Neal muffles the interception and Torrey Smith throws on this 20-yard reception after it bounces off her knee. Then Foles hits Jeffery along the sideline for 15 yards, leaving 1 second on the clock for Elliott from 53 yards! pic.twitter.com/QqjRMN9trf
– Kansas More Chaints (@AdrianFedkiw) January 13, 2018
Eagles fans owe Neal a debt of gratitude.
Neal has since become a linebacker and was an acquisition by the Cowboys as a free agent this offseason. He’s played well for the Cowboys the first two weeks, racking up 9 tackles. He’s out this week.
Cowboys LB Keanu Neal will not be available Monday against the Eagles, Mike McCarthy said. He has tested positive after entering the protocol as a close contact.
– Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 25, 2021
Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch will likely start at LB, and Micah Parsons will likely play DE.
• BY Bradlee Anae: Anae has played 33 plays out of necessity this season. 1 tackle. He’s out on Monday night.
Notable players in IR, PUP, suspension, etc.
• BY DeMarcus Lawrence (IR): Lawrence is by far the Cowboys’ best defensive player, but more importantly, he’s also their only good starting defensive lineman. It’s a potentially devastating loss for a team that already had one of the worst defensive lines in the NFL.
• RT La’el Collins (suspended): Collins was suspended five games by the NFL for violating league policy on substance abuse. Collins reportedly did not test positive for any prohibited substance. However, according to CBS’s Jason La Canfora, missed seven tests.
Terence Steele started in Collins’ place last Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Steele is a second-year player who started 14 games for the Cowboys in 2020. The Eagles defeated him in a victory over the Cowboys in November in Philadelphia last season.
• WR Michael Gallup (IR)Gallup injured his calf in the Cowboys’ loss to the Buccaneers in Week 1, subsequently landing on injured reserve. In 2020, Gallup had 59 receptions for 843 yards and 5 TDs. He’s kind of the third guy in the Cowboys’ extremely talented WR trio, alongside Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. In two games against the Eagles last season, Gallup had 13 receptions for 182 yards and 2 TDs.
• CB Kelvin Joseph (IR): Joseph was the Cowboys ‘second-round pick (44 overall) for the Cowboys in the 2021 NFL Draft. Joseph injured his groin during training camp, although according to various reports from the Cowboys’ training camp, he wasn’t going to beat Anthony Brown for a starting job anyway.
• DT Neville Gallimore (IR): Gallimore played 14 games as a rookie in 2020, starting 9. He had 28 tackles and 0.5 sacks. He’s not exactly an impact player, but he was ready to start this season before dislocating his elbow.
• DT Trysten Hill (puppy): Hill tore an ACL in week 5 last season and started this season on the cubs list. He was a second-round pick for the Cowboys in 2019. 16 career tackles, 0 sacks.
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