Eagles deal with injuries: 'You've just got to adapt as you go'

Ed Benkin
September 17, 2019 - 7:45 pm
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley (44) sacks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11).

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Eagles are no strangers to injury issues.

Last fall, the Eagles suffered a host of injuries, but rebounded to reach the second round of the playoffs. Two years ago, the Eagles lost several of their top players during their Super Bowl run. Now, the injury bug is biting once again.  

Last Sunday in Atlanta, wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson left with injuries. Tight End Dallas Goedert re-injured his calf before the game got underway. On defense, the Eagles lost defensive tackle Tim Jernigan to what appears to be a serious foot injury.  

Safety Malcolm Jenkins says the next man up mentality is already back in South Philadelphia.

"We follow the same protocol that we did in previous situations," said Jenkins. "Plug the next guy in and prepare all week and go out and compete. That's kind of the process we stick to week in and week out. Right now, the emphasis is on whoever is going to be in the game to get them as many reps as possible and to get them prepared."

That may be easier said than done for the Eagles, despite a recent history of resilience from this team.  

One of the biggest concerns is on offense with Jackson and Jeffery both day-to-day. That means the likes of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins may need to take on a greater role this weekend against Detroit.  

Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh is confident the reinforcements will be ready.

"Get them in plays that we think they are suited to, that their skill sets are best suited to," Groh said. "We have to maybe play a little bit of a different kind of game. There's an element of surprise to that, too. It's a combination of all those things and we'll be working through that the next few days."

There is also a great concern for the middle of the defensive line.  

With Jackson and apparently Tim Jernigan both out with long-term injuries, someone lining up with Fletcher Cox will have to step up his game. 

Akeem Spence, who spent his summer with the woeful Miami Dolphins but was signed by the Eagles after the injury to Jackson, says he is ready for more snaps going forward.

"Next man up," said Spence. "That's the NFL. You've just got to adapt as you go. I'm a guy that's been in this league. Sometimes things are out of your control and you've just got to do whatever you've got to do. Step in, fill in a role and just be ready for it."

So the Eagles are once again looking to overcome the adversity of injuries. They will get no sympathy from the rest of the NFL, where a host of other teams are in similar situations. 

Just like Spence, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz says it's simply time to move forward with the next player on the depth chart.

"Life in the NFL," Schwartz said. "We went through it at different positions last year. We went through it at defensive tackle for a little while last year. Things have a way of settling down after an amount of time."