By Kevin McGuire
In need of a win the Philadelphia Eagles will once again have to piece together a roster of players filling in at some key positions. If the Eagles are going to find a way to snap what has grown to a three-game losing streak in an environment that is not typically an easy one to play, they will need to get standout performances from David Sims, who may be called upon to fill in for an injured Nate Allen at safety. The offensive line will also be of primary concern with guard Danny Watkins out and tackle King Dunlap just getting back on the practice field Friday.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Nate Allen will be a game-day decision for Andy Reid when his team takes on the New Orleans Saints Monday night on the road. Allen is battling a hamstring strain and was held out of practice Friday as the team preps for a must-win game on the road.
Allen will travel with the team and the coaches and doctors will be monitoring his progress leading up to the game.
“He didn’t run today,” Reid said of Allen. “We’re just giving him treatment and (going from there).”
Officially, Allen is listed as questionable for the game and the chances he is available may look slim for the Eagles. If Allen is unavailable, the secondary will place Sims in his place. Sims was acquired by the Eagles in a trade with the Cleveland Browns on August 31 and was a free agent signing of the New York Giants last year. The former Iowa State Cyclone says he will be preparing himself by cramming in as much film study as possible if the Eagles need him to be ready.
“I’ve got to stay in my playbook and stay in that film to have a little edge,” Sims said Saturday. “Everybody’s got a step up that has been in there more, so I’ve got to sharpen up my game with that.”
Two players who will be out Monday night are offensive guard Danny Watkins (ankle) and wide receiver Mardy Gilyard (hamstring). Watkins did not participate in practices all week with a high ankle sprain.
“It’s not as much straight ahead working as it is his lateral work,” Reid said when asked about Watkins. “He can’t plant on it. He can’t plant and redirect. Playing that position you’ve got to be able to do that.”
Gilyard not playing is nothing much more than a ding on the depth of the Eagle son special teams and in the receiving game. Gilyard has been listed on the official team depth chart as a third-string player behind DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant and as a punt returner behind Damarias Johnson and Jackson. But with one of the team’s starting kick returners listed probable for the game, Brandon Boykin, special teams returning could continue to be an issue for the Eagles.
Brandon Boykin, Cornerback (toe)
King Dunlap, Offensive Tackle (hamstring)
Phillip Hunt, Defensive End (Calf)
Nate Allen, Safety (hamstring)
Cullen Jenkins, Defensive Tackle (knee)
Mardy Gilyard, Wide Receiver (hamstring)
Danny Watkins, Guard (ankle)
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.