By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles are hoping to rebound from the injuries that they suffered last week as they prepare for the Green Bay Packers. The Eagles retuned to the practice field on Friday without Ryan Mathews, the team’s leading rusher this season with 427 yards and seven rushing touchdowns, as he continues to recover from an MCL sprain. Unfortunately, Mathews has been ruled out for Monday’s game, which means the return of Darren Sproles will be a much-needed boost to the team’s running game.
Sproles was a full practice participant on Friday, which indicates that he will be available for the Eagles on Monday night. Sproles is the second-leading rusher on the Eagles with 319 rushing yards and the team’s third-leading receiver with 304 yards and one touchdown this season. However, he has missed time due to a fractured rib. To lighten the load, the Eagles could get Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner more involved in the offense this week. Each brings big-play potential, but tends to be more effective when not overused.
Eagles defensive end Connor Barwin was kept out of practice Thursday, but was ready to go for practice on Friday. Barwin is working through a knee bruise, but it does not appear to be an injury that should prevent him from playing defense against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense. His absence would be a tough blow to the Eagles’ defensive front. Barwin has four sacks this season and brings energy to the line.
Other banged-up Eagles seen on the practice field on Friday included Terrence Brooks (hamstring) and Leodis McKelvin (concussion). McKelvin was diagnosed with a concussion in Sunday’s loss at Seattle, but his availability in practice this week indicates that he passed the league’s mandated concussion protocol. The Eagles expect both players to be available for Monday night’s match-up.
Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report:
(RB) Ryan Mathews (Knee) – Did Not Participate In Practice
(T) Halapoulivaati Vaitai (Knee) – Did Not Participate In Practice