Eagles still dealing with key injuries

Ed Benkin
November 08, 2018 - 9:08 pm
Darren Sproles

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Philadelphia Eagles were hoping their bye week would give their walking wounded time to heal, but the injury list remains long for Doug Pederson's squad.

With a Sunday night showdown against the Dallas Cowboys on the horizon, there are several key players who will likely remain sidelined.  Perhaps the most frustrating injury came in the backfield from a player who was expected to return this week.  Running back Darren Sproles has been out since Week 1 with a hamstring injury.  After sitting out seven games, Sproles returned to practice earlier in the week.  However, Sproles reinjured his hamstring in practice on Wednesday and is now expected to miss Sunday night's game.  His return for the rest of the season is now in question and fellow running back Wendell Smallwood knows Sproles will once again be difficult to replace and will be especially missed on third down situations.

"He's kind of that third down guy," said Smallwood.  "He's very experienced in it and he's great at doing it.  He's great with his eyes and he's great with communication with the line.  That's sort of his role and what he does great for us."

With Sproles down again, Smallwood along with Corey Clement and Josh Adams will be counted on for an increased workload.  With the help of Sproles, Smallwood and the rest of the running backs know they must step up their level of play if the Eagles are to make a run at the post-season.

"We've got to step up now that he can't do it," Smallwood said.  "It's a tremendous challenge, but he helps us out tremendously.  Even with him not being on the field, he helps us get our eyes in the right place.  It's big shoes to fill with Sproles not out there but we're stepping up to it and we're going to get our jobs done."

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There are also injury concerns in the secondary.  Cornerback Jalen Mills is dealing with a foot injury and cornerback Sidney Jones is bothered by a hamstring problem.  Both are expected to be out for Sunday night's game, so the Eagles will turn to Rasul Douglas.  The second-year defensive back has seen his playing time decrease this season, but Douglas said he will be ready if he has to step into the starting lineup.

"You have to control what you have to control," said Douglas.  "That's how you practice and that's how you prepare and that's how you take care of your body and make sure you are out there and you leave the coaching up to them.  If they decide to play me, they'll play me."

The Eagles did get some good injury news in the secondary this week.  Backup safety Corey Graham is back from a hamstring injury and Graham will provide some much needed depth on Sunday night.  Graham expressed complete confidence in Douglas and believes the secondary won't miss a beat with the second-year defender on the field.

"The next guy has to be able to step up," Graham said.  "It's great that we've got Rasul, somebody that we trust that we think can make it happen for us.  It's big for us.  I'm glad that we've got him and I know he's going to go out there and do well."