By Kevin McGuire
For the second straight week, the Philadelphia Eagles will be without a key contributor on defense. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been ruled out once again for this weekend’s road game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Kendricks is one of two Eagles players to be ruled out for this weekend’s game. Center Jason Kelce is the other as he begins rehabbing a hernia injury that will force him to miss extended time. Kendricks is still nursing a calf injury that was suffered in the Monday night game in Indianapolis in Week 2. He did not practice at all this week.
Without Kendricks, the Eagles will once again give playing time to Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews. Marcus Smith may also get some snaps as well, but Acho is the most dependable option under the circumstances. Matthews is still a risk in the open field and Smith is an unproven rookie right now.
Kelce’s absence from the line-up forced the Eagles to do some more shuffling of the offensive line. David Molk will be promoted to the starting line at center to fill in for Kelce while he is out. Getting in rhythm with quarterback Nick Foles will be critical for the Eagles to keep the offense going. If there is one thing that has been learned, this offensive line has the back of Foles. The line will have to be there to support Molk as well as he takes over an often overlooked position on the line.
A good handful of Eagles are officially listed as probable this week. On offense, tight end James Casey (knee), wide receivers Jordan Matthews (oblique) and Brad Smith (groin) and offensive tackle Matt Tobin (ankle) are all probable and took part in full practices all week. Wide receiver Josh Huff (shoulder) is officially listed as questionable, but he did partake in full practices this week.
On defense, defensive ends Fletcher Cox (back) and Brandon Bair (foot), defensive backs Brandon Boykin (hip) and Jaylen Watkins (hamstring) and safety Earl Wolff (knee) are all probable after good weeks in practice.
DE Brandon Bair, foot
CB Brandon Boykin, hip
TE James Casey, knee
DE Fletcher Cox, back
WR Jordan Matthews, oblique
WR Brad Smith, groin
OT Matt Tobin, ankle
CB Jaylen Watkins, hamstring
S Earl Wolff, knee
WR Josh Huff, shoulder
C Jason Kelce, hernia
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.