By Kevin McGuire
Two key positions for the Philadelphia Eagles will be a bit banged up for Sunday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor and linebacker Kiko Alonso will be out of action this weekend, while receiver Riley Cooper and linebackers Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans are each listed as questionable for Sunday night’s showdown in Charlotte.
Agholor being ruled out for Sunday comes as no surprise given this past week’s lack of availability in practices on a short week. Agholor is working through an ankle injury suffered in Monday night’s game against the New York Giants. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was limited in Friday’s practice. Riley Cooper was also held out of practices on Wednesday and Thursday and limited on Friday due to a knee injury. There is a slight chance he may play though, as he has been listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report heading into the weekend.
The good news for the receiving unit is Josh Huff looks to be ready to go after suffering a knee injury Monday night. Huff did not miss a practice all week and was able to be a full participant all week. Huff, who also can play a role on special teams, is officially labeled as probable for this weekend, and with injury concerns for Agholor and Cooper, the odds are very good Huff will be able to contribute on offense this week.
The linebacker position will once again be a concern for the Eagles this week, but it could be getting healthy soon. Kiko Alonso will be out once again, as he has for the past four weeks. Alonso’s knee injury continues to keep him limited at most practices. Alonso was a limited practice participant all week as he worked to get back in the mix on defense.
The good news is Mychal Kendricks was a full participant in practices this week as he works his way back from a lingering hamstring injury. Though listed as questionable, having him as a full participant in practice all week feels like a positive sign. Hamstrings can be finicky though, so Kendricks and the Eagles will have to see how it feels Sunday.
DeMeco Ryans is also being slowed by a hamstring injury. Ryans did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was limited on Friday. His chances of playing Sunday night appear to be much less positive compared to Kendricks, so the Eagles could be losing one starter and gaining another. That means Jordan Hicks will likely get a chance to play a key role on the inside of the defense.
Backup defensive end Brandon Bair will be questionable this week. Bair is still battling a groin injury, and he was a limited practice participant all week. As long as the linemen in front of him on the depth chart remain healthy, this should merely be a minor dent to the depth on the defensive line.
WR Josh Huff (knee)
DE Brandon Bair (groin)
WR Riley Cooper (knee)
LB Mychal Kendricks (hamstring)
LB DeMeco Ryans (hamstring)
WR Nelson Agholor (ankle)
LB Kiko Alonso (knee)
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.