By Kevin McGuire
When the Philadelphia Eagles take on NFC East division rivals from Washington, they will do so without one of the more dependable players taking the field with the defense. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks (calf) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Washington after not practicing at all this week. Kendricks injured his calf in Monday night’s win in Indianapolis and is the only Eagles player officially ruled out for Week 3.
With Kendricks out of commission for Sunday, the Eagles will have to hope for the best from Emmanuel Acho or Casey Matthews instead. Acho appears to be the more likely player to see at least the majority of defensive snaps in the absence of Kendricks. Acho has not been seen on the team’s official depth chart, but he may be able to get the start over Matthews. Matthews has struggled when called upon, especially in the open field where he has become vulnerable and exposed. Look for the Eagles to use both players on Sunday, but unless Acho struggles, he should receive the bulk of the plays on defense as long as Kendricks is out.
The buzz entering this weekend’s game has surrounded the availability of former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, now with Washington. However, the Eagles have their own concerns at receiver this weekend. Josh Huff (shoulder) is listed as doubtful for Sunday, which means rookie Jordan Matthews is likely to fill a spot on the starting line-up. Matthews still has potential, but was shaky at times on Monday night. Matthews was called for a lazy penalty and was one of many Eagles players to struggle hauling in a pass. Brad Smith (groin) is one of many Eagles listed as probable this weekend.
Safety Earl Wolff (knee) is officially listed as questionable after not participating in practice on Friday. Wolff was also limited in practice on Thursday after a full practice on Wednesday. It seems unlikely Wolff will play on Sunday, and if he does it should be extremely limited at the most.
A number of Eagles are officially listed as probable for this weekend against Washington. On offense, tight end Zach Ertz, offensive guard Todd Herremans are probable. On defense, defensive backs Nolan Carroll II, Cary Williams and Jaylen Watkins, defensive end Fletcher Cox, and safety Malcolm Jenkins are listed as probable. All players listed as probable participated in full practices all week and should be good to go on Sunday.
CB Nolan Carroll II (elbow)
DE Fletcher Cox (back)
TE Zach Ertz (knee)
OG Todd Herremans (hamstring)
S Malcolm Jenkins (shoulder)
WR Brad Smith (groin)
CB Jaylen Watkins (hamstring)
CB Cary Williams (hamstring)
OT Matt Tobin (ankle)
S Earl Wolff (knee)
WR Josh Huff (shoulder)
LB Mychal Kendricks (calf)
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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.