You know things are looking up for the Eagles when you can’t think of anything bad enough to write about heading into Week 3. Sure, there are a few areas begging for improvement which we have already covered. But overall, the team is realistically healthy enough and talented enough to feel good about taking on the Giants at the Linc this Sunday.
One possible concern is the challenge of covering the crafty speedster Odell Beckham Jr. without the help of cornerback Ronald Darby, who is of course still out of action with a dislocated ankle. One of the main reasons the Eagles traded for Darby was his ability to cover Beckham.
“The 23-year-old Darby has first-hand experience in this area. He went toe-to-toe with Beckham in 2015 while with the Buffalo Bills. Even though he was a rookie at the time, Darby fared well. Beckham was held to five catches on 12 targets for 38 yards. By our count, Darby yielded just one of those catches– a quick hitch on third down that fell short of the sticks — and had a pair of pass break-ups.”–Tim McManus, ESPN.com
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has the task of trying to slow one of the best receivers in the game with a patchwork secondary. It’s not just Darby that might be missing. Fellow corner Jaylen Watkins and safety Rodney McLeod are dealing with hamstring injuries which are being called “day-to-day” and could miss Sunday’s game as well.
Beckham, still recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the preseason, made his debut on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions and had four catches for 36 yards.
Beckham was a force against the Eagles last season, racking up 15 catches, 196 yards and a pair of scores in two games. Schwartz is preparing as if the star receiver will be at full power.
“If we expect anything less, we’re in the wrong business, because he has a full week to prepare,” Schwartz said. “He’s another week away from that [injury], another week ahead of his rehab and things like that, so we’ll have to be ready for #13, and we’re going to have to be ready for him being the same guy we remember from last year. And he’s a very difficult player to handle, and their offense has missed him the first couple weeks.”
“It’s our job to keep him from being a factor — well, he’s going to be a factor, but keep him from being a game-changing factor,” Schwartz said. “It’s going to take good team defense to do it. It’s not going to be one guy that’ll do it.”
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By the way, BRISUKSEGG Fantasy Football is back for another season of madness. Here are the Week 2 Results of a season already in progress: