By Kevin McGuire
What a difference a year makes. Last season the Philadelphia Eagles could not manage to keep bodies on the football field. This season the injury concerns have been relatively limited at best. Outside of a season-ending injury to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in training camp, and an earlier revolving door for quarterbacks Mike Vick and Nick Foles, the team has mostly been a stabilized roster from week to week. This week is not much different.
For the second straight week the Philadelphia Eagles will be in mostly good health, but rookie safety Earl Wolff will once again be out of action. The young rising defensive player in the Eagles secondary will be sidelined for the second straight game with a knee injury. Though Wolff is mostly a back-up safety, his loss still hurts the depth of the secondary, which had been rotating him in and out at times this season.
Nate Allen will continue to get the starting job at strong safety for Philadelphia, while snaps normally taken by Wolff could be divided by by Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson. If the Eagles wanted to try Brandon Boykin at safety, that could be an option as well, especially with Boykin showing signs of progress when given an opportunity this season. But expect Coleman and Anderson to be the preferable options for the Eagles defense. Wolff did not practice at all this week, for the second week in a row.
On defense the Eagles will also be without backup linebacker Najee Goode. The third-string inside linebacker will be out of action with a hamstring injury that has sidelined him in practices all week.
The defensive line is a bit banged up as well, although all starters should be available. Defensive tackles Damion Square (back)and Bennie Logan (neck) are listed as probable for this week and each took part in full practice sessions this week.
The offense appears to be in good shape as well. Rookie tight end Zach Ertz, who had a solid performance against Arizona last week and has been coming on strong recently, has a minor shoulder injury but is listed as probable. The injury concern is minimaland he should still be a featured part of the passing offense this weekend against the Detroit Lions. Ertz and veteran Brent Celek have been pretty dependable and productive targets for Foles, and the Eagles will likely try to keep that going. The maturation of Ertz this season has been inspired by the leadership of Celek at times, and Ertz continues to develop in to the tight end of the future for Philadelphia that caught the eye of head coach Chip Kelly back in the Pac 12.
Wide receiver Jeff Maehl could be a different situation after suffering a concussion. Maehl was held out of practice on Wednesday but returned for full practices on Thursday and Friday.
- LB Najee Goode (hamstring)
- S Earl Wolff (knee)
- TE Zach Ertz (shoulder)
- DT Bennie Logan (neck)
- WR Jeff Maehl (concussion)
- DT Damion Square (back)
For more Eagles news and updates, visit Eagles Central.
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.