By Kevin McGuire
It seems as though every week when the Philadelphia Eagles have released their injury report for that week there have been concerns about depth at wide receiver or on the offensive or defensive line or at linebacker. This week, though, is a different story.
For the first time this season the Philadelphia Eagles have a good injury report to reveal. All eleven players appearing on the team’s injury report this week are listed as probable, a much more positive outlook than previous injury reports in recent weeks.
Wide receivers Jason Avant (wrist) and Riley Cooper (collarbone), running back Bryce Brown (shoulder), full back Stanley Havili (quad), tackle King Dunlap (hamstring), defensive end Darryl Tapp (foot), defensive tackle Derek Landri (knee), linebackers Mychal Kendricks (ankle) and Akeem Jordan (hamstring), long snapper Jon Dorenbos (ankle), and safety Colt Anderson (knee) all participated in full practices this week for the team, a positive sign for a team that has battled injuries all season on both sides of the football.
The Eagles will need to make a decision on receiver Cooper, who suffered a broken collarbone early in pre season. Andy Reid says he wants to make sure Cooper is in the best possible shape before sending him back on the field, due to the sensitivity of the injury. If he does become available it might give the Eagles a bigger target to take advantage of inside the red zone, specifically in the end zone. A lack of a big man in the end zone has shown to be a problem for the Eagles at time this season, and Cooper figures to best fill that void if available.
“I want to make sure he’s ready to go and he’s healthy enough to where he takes care of being confident enough,” Reid said to the media on Friday. “That’s what I look at.”
The Eagles will surely welcome back outside linebacker Akeem Jordan, who has missed each of the previous two games with a hamstring. Jordan will return to his starting position on the outside and will help bolster Philadelphia’s wide-nine defense against a Detroit team that is in desperate need of a win this week. Jordan last played in week three against the Arizona Cardinals, but he had to leave the game early due to the injury. He missed all of practice last week before he Eagles headed to Pittsburgh, so having him back this week in practice was a lift for a defense that felt as though they came up small in the closing minutes against Pittsburgh. The Eagles will also look for ways to keep Jordan involved on special teams.
“Well having him back will be big,” said special teams coordinator Bobby April on Thursday. “He’s been a good player for us. We’ll have him in all four areas.”
“It’s a big plus because he’s a really good player. Really experienced. Knows what he’s doing. He’ll be a big plus for us.”
Having safety Colt Anderson available is also a boost for Philadelphia as he can add some depth to the special teams unit. Anderson can also give some starters a breather in the secondary if needed, but his real value will be on special teams.
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.