CB Sidney Jones is out for probably the next few weeks with a hamstring, and LT Jason Peters (who was battling a quad injury) is now questionable for next weekend with a biceps strain. Add to that the banged-up ankle of RT Lane Johnson, who may not be “week-to-week” but is definitely “play-to-play” with that thing.
With their Week 9 BYE still a solid two weeks away, somehow the Eagles are going to have to fight through collective injuries to take on the extremely physical Carolina Panthers on October 21, then make the long trip to London to face the Jacksonville Jaguars the following Sunday.
No rest for the weary!
Of course we’ve already lost RB Jay Ajayi (ACL), too bad the Englishman won’t get to show off to his “home crowd” at Wembley; and RB/PR Darren Sproles is still unavailable due to a hamstring. WR Mike Wallace and his 4.33 are ancient history now (fractured fibula) although technically he could return in January. WR Mack Hollins is still on Injured Reserve with a groin injury. At least RB Corey Clement is back and seemingly effective again after rehabbing a quad strain.
The point of this little ditty is you gotta forge on through adversity if you wanna rock’n’roll in this league. The Eagles are getting their fair share of adversity so far this season. Besides the injury bug, they lost some guys to free agency who would look real good in midnight green right about now, specifically Trey Burton and LeGarrette Blount.
It’s fitting and somewhat symbolic that the real leaders of this team on offense right now are both coming back from surgeries—namely Carson Wentz (knee) and Alshon Jeffery (rotator cuff).
Jeffery in particular has inspired me as a fan, and certainly he has jacked up his teammates with his sudden explosions on offense.
Jeffery evokes the feeling, tight end Zach Ertz says, “That no matter what, we’re going to go out there and make plays. He kind of has that demeanor about him.”
Tim McManus of ESPN: “He’s not the obvious candidate to be an emotional spark. He is quiet and soft-spoken much of the time. But there’s a certain swagger that has proved infectious during his year-plus in Philadelphia, and he’s got a defiant way about him that comes through in his messaging.”
“I always just tell [my teammates], ‘Ain’t nobody f—ing with us.’ That’s what I always say,” Jeffery said.
Jeffery (age 28, 6-3, 220, 4.48, 2nd round out of South Carolina) is averaging seven catches, 73 yards and a touchdown in three games. On Thursday against the Giants, he was targeted 12 times by Wentz and came up with eight catches for 74 yards and two TDs.
“I think I’m still a little rusty. I didn’t have an offseason or training camp,” Jeffery said. “It can only improve and get better.”
The thing that strikes me about Jeffery’s game is the sheer willpower that drives his performance. He’s not the fastest or most graceful athlete on the field. He’s all arms and legs akimbo at times, but he goes out and he goes up and he fights and digs for that football, usually with someone draped all over him. When I squint my eyes I see a slightly smaller version of Harold Carmichael.
That’s inspirational to me as a fan because his game is not about perfection of form. He’s self-taught. He ain’t no Senator’s son.
It’s the embodiment of a special kind of grit, the kind of grit this team will need to get through the next two weeks with at least one win.