This isn’t an article excusing the bad play Philly showed the majority of the season. This isn’t an article to make you feel sorry for Philly. Every team has their injuries, this is just an article to give you some facts on the injuries Philly has suffered.
Rodney McLeod, S
McLeod was the first significant loss of many for this Eagles team. He was one of the Eagles most versatile defenders, behind Malcolm Jenkins of course. Jenkins and McLeod were a formidable duo in the deep secondary. McLeod could cover from sideline to sideline and was as sure of a tackler as Philly had. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, an injury in the secondary was a reoccurring theme.
Jalen Mills, CB
Did someone get hurt in a London game? Shocker there. London games just seem to have an unwanted stigma attached to them. I understand that the NFL wants to extend their reach to other countries, but there has to be a better way to do this. Mills hurt his foot against the Jacksonville Jaguars and didn’t play the entirety of the season. Yes, I understand that a lot of Eagles fans are not fans of Jalen Mills. He was regularly beaten by the double move and seemed to be picked on every game. However, Jalen was one of the better players in our secondary. The pride and emotion that he played with only helped this Eagles team. Jalen has been dearly missed throughout the season.
Ronald Darby, CB
I told you this secondary thing was a reoccurring theme. Darby was injured on November 11th against the Dallas Cowboys. By no means was Darby a shutdown corner, he was the best we had at the time though. Darby tore his ACL and will more than likely leave the team in free agency upon season completion. He was our weapon to use against opposing weapons. Darby is not the biggest guy on the field, but he will run with anyone you put him with. Darby’s injury was one of the most painful on the season.
Chris Maragos, S
Maragos is a different case, he actually didn’t get to play all season. He suffered an injury last season that just hasn’t healed enough to let him play. Maragos could have provided added stability when McLeod went down. He was also arguably the best special teamer that Philly has on its roster. Maragos not being able to play this year changed a lot for this Philly D/ST.
Sidney Jones, CB
Jones injured his hamstring and has been unable to play in the past 4 games. The Eagles had high hopes for Jones coming into this season. The Eagles drafted Jones in the second round of the 2017 draft, knowing he may not play all year. His talent on tape was undeniable, and the Eagles wanted to sure up their secondary. Jones has been up and down this season, but as mentioned before, the Eagles secondary has just been decimated by injuries. Jones has a chance to return this week against the Saints, but recent play from LeBlanc and Maddox may prevent him from having a significant impact.
Derek Barnett, DE
Super Bowl hero Barnett has had a rough season. Barnett had a shoulder injury that shelved him for the season. During this season his older brother was also killed by a drunk driver in a hit and run accident in Nashville Tennessee. Barnett wasn’t having a tremendous season but still accounted for double-digit QB hits and hurries with 2.5 sacks in his six games played. Losing Barnett hurt the Eagles game planning throughout the season. It’s no secret that Philly will wear you down with their pass rush depth before ultimately taking over late in the game. Losing depth has prevented the Eagles from being as effective.
Every NFL team has their injuries, and they are all affected in different ways. There is no denying that the Eagles losing almost their entire secondary has profoundly affected their play. Despite all of those injuries on the defensive side of the ball, Philly is still playing New Orleans in the NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs. #FlyEaglesFly