Starting LB Akeem Jordan Out, Defensive Depth Concerns Loom Against Giants
By Kevin McGuire
Starting linebacker Akeem Jordan has been ruled out for the Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) for Sunday night’s NFC East contest against the New York Giants (2-1). The defense has some other players to keep a close eye on this weekend as well, with the status of some players still unknown.
Joining Jordan on the injury report is starting SAM linebacker Mychal Kendricks, one of the team’s top performers on the defense in the early going this season. Kendricks has an injured bicep that is leaving some doubt in to his status, but he did participate in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday. Kendricks appears more likely to be able to contribute this weekend, but the defensive health concerns do not end at linebacker.
Rookie defensive tackle Fletcher Cox did not practice Wednesday and his practice status on Friday was unknown. Cox was battling a migraine this week, making his situation something worth being very careful about before getting in to a physical contest with a long time division foe that tends to leave everyone with a few more bumps and bruises when the clock hits zero. Defensive end BRandon Graham’s status is also uncertain as he works through an ankle injury. Graham did practice in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday but his Friday status was not listed on the team’s official injury report.
Here is the latest on the injury front for the Philadelphia Eagles:
King Dunlap, Offensive Tackle – King Dunlap is out for a second straight week with a hamstring injury. Demetress Bell will once again get the start for the Eagles despite a shaky performance against Arizona last week. Dunlap’s return date still is unknown after not participating in any practices this week, so it is not much of a shock he is unavailable for this weekend’s game against the Giants.
Akeem Jordan, Outside Linebacker – Starting linebacker Akeem Jordan is out for the Eagles after aggravating a hamstring injury that forced him to leave last week’s game early. Filling Jordan’s spot in the starting lineup will be Jamar Chaney, who enters the week with just one tackle in limited action this season. Chaney is officially recorded on the injury report as well listed as probable with a slight knee injury, but he took part in full practices this week and Andy Reid confirmed he will get the start Sunday night.
Colt Anderson, Safety – Colt Anderson did not participate in practices Wednesday or Thursday but was activated for a full practice Friday. The third year player is eager to get back on the field and contribute, but after taking part in just one full practice it is unlikely the Eagles call on his services this weekend unless absolutely necessary. He is currently still listed second on the depth chart, behind Nate Allen at strong safety.
Riley Cooper, Wide Receiver – Cooper’s return is nearing for the Eagles after suffering a collarbone injury in training camp. Cooper participated in full practices this week but it remains to be seen if he will get on the field this week for any significant playing time. Expect the Eagles to be cautious with playing Cooper this weekend, with it being more likely he contributes in some way the following game.
Jon Dorenbos, Long Snapper – A high ankle sprain is placing some uncertainty on the status of long snapper Jon Dorenbos. Andy Reid is saying Dorenbos is 50-50 for playing this weekend against the Giants. If he is deemed unavailable, the team will call on Kyle Nelson off of the practice squad. It is a decision that must be made by late Saturday afternoon to comply with transactions prior to the Sunday night match-up.
Two of Philadelphia’s top offensive weapons are officially listed as probable this weekend. Running back LeSean McCoy, who has been known to provide a little extra juice to this NFC East rivalry, has a minor rib injury the team is watching but the running back did take part in full practices all week. The offense will also be happy to have back wide receiver Jeremy Maclin will return to the field ater missing last week’s game. Maclin took part in ful practices this week while working his way back with a hip pointer injury. Though he is listed as probable and was in practice all week, the Eagles will surely be concerned with the status of one of their top offensive players in what is typically a physical match-up.
Back-up receiver Damaris Johnson was in full practices Thursday and Friday with a foot injury and should be available this weekend, sitting behind Maclin on the team’s depth chart.
On the defensive side of the football, starting right defensive tackle Derek Landri is listed as probable with a knee injury but he did participate in a full practice Friday, suggesting he should be set for Sunday night. If Landri is bothered by his knee the Eagles will have to go with Cedric Thornton in the middle of the defensive line.
Kevin McGuire covers college football for Examiner.com and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter (@KevinOnCFB). His work can be found on Examiner.com.