By Kevin McGuire
With the exception of the players already documented for being out for the rest of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles appear to be in pretty great shape on the injury report as they head south to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is the only Eagles player listed on the injury report this week. He will officially be questionable with an ankle injury.
Jeffery was a full practice participant on Friday, but he was limited on Thursday and had no practice activity listed on Wednesday. Because of that limited activity this week, Jeffery could be a game-time decision on Sunday. Jeffery is the second-leading receiver for the Eagles with 500 yards and five touchdowns. Only tight end Zach Ertz has more receiving yards and touchdowns than Jeffery, though Nelson Agholor is not far behind Jeffery. But those two receivers play different roles in the offense.
Jeffery is coming off one of his best games of the season with 11 catches for 84 yards and a season-high two touchdowns against the Denver Broncos. Torrey Smith will have to step up his game in place of Jeffery. Smith has 15 catches for 221 yards and one touchdown this season.
Ertz was also listed with a hamstring injury this week, but he managed to have full practices all week long and appears good to go Sunday night.
Cornerback Ronald Darby was able to put in a full week of practice sessions this week, which is another big step forward for him and his possible return to the field of play. Darby injured his ankle in the season opener and has not been available to start as he continued to recover from the injury. It remains to be seen just how Darby will fit into defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s plans this week, as the Eagles secondary has seemed to be playing fairly well in Darby’s absence. It would not be shocking to see Darby used in some sort of rotation or for certain packages, or even kept coming in as a backup. The secondary has been playing well as a unit for the bulk of the season, and there may not be a sense of urgency to disrupt what has been working at this point. However, Darby was expected to be a starter this season, and if he is good to go at 100 percent, then slotting him back in the starting lineup is still a possibility.
Safety Jaylen Watkins is still listed with a hamstring injury, but he was able to put in full practices all week and was not officially listed on the injury report this week. But a hamstring injury is always something to be mindful of.