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Injuries Not A Concern As Philadelphia Eagles open new season

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By Kevin McGuire

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01:  Brandon Hughes #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball during a pre-season game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 1, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Eagles will be largely in good physical shape when they take on NFC East rival Washington on Monday night to open the 2013 NFL season.

After an injury riddled 2012 season, the Philadelphia Eagles should be heading in to their Monday night opener at Washington in good health. The Eagles listed just two players on their weekly injury report and neither player was a surprise after not practicing with the team all week for various reasons. Offensive tackle Dennis Kelly and defensive back Brandon Hughes were the only players listed on this week’s injury report as the Eagles prepare to battle the Washington Redskins. No players are listed as probable, questionable or doubtful, so the Eagles appear to be ready to hit the ground running.

Defensive back Brandon Hughes will be out of the game with a hand injury. His absence hardly comes as a surprise for the Eagles though. Hughes recently underwent surgery on his broken hand on August 27 and the team has yet to determine a timeframe for his return. Hughes played in all 16 games for the team last season and recorded two pass deflections and four tackles in mostly back-up duty.

Hughes was not going to leave a dent on the Eagles starting defense, but his absence certainly hurts the depth in the secondary in the season opener. Chip Kelly has addressed concerns over the depth at defensive back and it would not be a shocking development if the Eagles keep close tabs on the waiver wire and free agency in case a defensive back happens to become available. Although with the final roster cuts already being made a week ago and no action taken it appears as though the Eagles are ready to move forward with what they have.

Though not a main player in the secondary, the Eagles will lose Hughes on special teams. Hughes has been one of the regular special teams players.

Earlier in the week the Eagles confirmed offensive tackle Dennis Kelly would be out of action for the Monday night opener as well. Kelly underwent back surgery on August 8 and was ruled out of action for the remainder of the preseason. The Eagles are hopeful to have Kelly available again by the middle of September, and Kelly is reportedly going well in his recovery from the surgery.

Kelly was slated to be a back-up offensive tackle for the Eagles in 2013. The offensive line crumbled with a rash of injuries last season but enters the 2013 season looking to be in good health on the starting line. Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce and Todd Herramans are all in good shape and rookie Lane Johnson has quickly emerged as a solid lineman.

Out

CB Brandon Hughes (Hand)

T Dennis Kelly (Back)

Injured Reserve

Of course, the Eagles do have some players on the league’s physically unable to play list. Wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn and linebackers Jason Phillips and Phillip Hunt are all unavailable with knee injuries suffered during the preseason workouts and training camp.

For more news and updates, visit Philadelphia Eagles Central.

Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer and 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.

Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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