The 6-3 Atlanta Falcons are red hot on offense right now but the Eagles get one of their biggest defensive weapons back to counter Matt Ryan’s group on Sunday.
Defensive tackle Bennie Logan is on track to return to the lineup after missing three-plus games with a groin injury.
“I feel good. I’m very excited to get back out there Sunday and to play,” Logan said. “I’m just taking it day by day. I’m not trying to be too aggressive in practice. I’m really just focused on getting comfortable and getting back into shape to play on Sunday, but I’m definitely looking forward to getting back out there.”
“Last week, I really thought I was ready, but when I went to practice it wasn’t really feeling the way I expected it to so I just had to be smart about it,” Logan said. “I really didn’t want to miss any more weeks, so I did the individual things that I could and I did a couple reps in blitz period, but I didn’t really feel as explosive as I know I should have felt, so I just kind of backed away from it.”
“Just watching those guys out there competing, and not being able to go out there and help them, it was very frustrating for me just to be watching them and not out there contributing,” Logan said. “This week when I’m out there I have to bring a lot of energy, because these guys have been out there these past weeks so it’s my turn to just get out there and lift them up and go out there and compete.”
Since Bennie has been out the Eagles have dropped from third in the league in run defense to 18th, allowing 107.1 yards on the ground per game. Atlanta – behind the duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman – has gained 1,028 rushing yards, good for fifth in the league, and scored nine touchdowns.
As for the Eagles’ health report, starting guard Allen Barbre is still being held out of practice due to a hamstring injury. Coach Doug Pederson also held out Terrence Brooks and Brent Celek from practice on Wednesday.
“Brent Celek, whom I mentioned on Monday has the rib (injury), we’re going to hold him today but he should be good for the game, and then Kamu (Grugier-Hill), same thing with his hamstring. We’ll hold him from practice but everyone else should be good to go.”
The Eagles still have just 52 players on the active roster, and Coach Pederson explained that a move might not be imminent.
“We’ve got some guys that we’re evaluating on our practice squad,” Pederson said. “Paul Turner, Aaron Grymes – we’ve got some guys, but we don’t have to make a move right now. There’s no hurry. We’re looking at those guys right now.”
By the way, the Atlanta Falcons lead the NFL in scoring offense, averaging an impressive 33.9 points per game. Matt Ryan has thrown 23 touchdown passes compared to just four interceptions.
Pederson knows Atlanta is going to be a tough challenge for the Eagles defense:
“Matt has done an outstanding job all season with the way he’s allowing the game to come to him and letting things unfold,” Pederson said. “They may not start out fast, but they gain that momentum as the games go on. They’re making play after play and it shows up on film. He’s not always having to look for Julio (Jones). He’s got other weapons on that offense that he’s utilizing and that’s what’s making that offense explosive right now.”
Getting Bennie Logan back at top form couldn’t be happening at a better time for the Eagles.