As stated in the key defensive injuries article: 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.
Jay Ajayi, RB
The 2018 season was looking to be another excellent rushing year for this Philadelphia team. Those plans drastically changed when Ajayi went down with a torn ACL against Minnesota. Ajayi was already playing with a fracture in his back before tearing his ACL. On the season he had 45 rushes for 184 yards and 3 TDs. While only playing 4 games, it was clear that Ajayi was going to be a focal point in this offense. Losing Ajayi a quarter of the way through the season hurt the Eagles rushing attack.
Corey Clement, RB
Going down with a quad injury in week 3, Corey was already banged up before eventually suffering a season-ending knee injury. Already down Ajayi, losing Clement hurt even more. This Eagles team thrived off of a strong rushing attack, making the RPO even more successful. As far as Clements injury, when Pederson was asked of it, here’s what transpired.
Asked if it was ACL for Clement, Pederson would only say “knee.” Clement is already on IR, so not sure the competitive advantage of being so clandestine. Nature of the injury for both Clement/Sweat factors into offseason planning. https://t.co/XigIWlGjcp
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) December 12, 2018
Hopefully, this doesn’t cause him to miss games in 2018 because Clement is a stud and a key cog in this offense.
Darren Sproles, RB
Darren Sproles returned for the 2018 season due to an injury in the 2017 season. He wanted to go out on his own terms. Well Darren, maybe you should stay for the 2019 season as well. Sproles missed weeks 2-12 with various injuries. Upon his return, the Eagles offense was noticeably different. Sproles scored a TD in three of the 5 remaining regular season games. Sproles provides a matchup nightmare for any defense. With the Eagles having offensive weapons like Ertz, Goddert, Sproles, and Jeffrey, someone will have a mismatch. Sproles play through the last 7 games of the season (including postseason) showed that he still has plenty left in the tank. Zach Ertz has actually said that he continually bugs Sproles about returning for one last year. Let’s cross our fingers on that one.
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Mike Wallace, WR
Wallace was signed to replace Torrey Smith. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Wallace fractured his ankle in the second week of the season. Wallace was signed to be a vertical threat in this Philly offense and didn’t even register a catch for the 2018 season. You can’t help but wonder how much different this offense would have looked with him healthy.
Mack Hollins, WR
A year of development and experience lost for Mack Hollins. Hollins suffered a groin injury that just never fully healed. He didn’t play a single snap all year. Hollins would not have been a starter, but he would’ve been another big target for Wentz to throw to. He had a promising rookie season that had the Eagles excited for what was to come. Next year will be telling to see how he fits in the offense.
Carson Wentz, QB
Obviously the most significant injury of the 2018 season, we still don’t really know when Wentz was hurt. Was he injured the entire season? Was it because of him coming back too soon from ACL surgery? We might never know, all that matters is that he’s expected to make a full recovery. Without Wentz, the Eagles didn’t miss a beat, they may have actually played better overall as a team. If Wentz was injured the entire season, that would explain a lot of what we saw early in the year. Wentz should not step foot on a football field until he is 150% healthy. This Eagles team was driving to knock out the #1 seed in the playoffs with a backup quarterback, 4th string running back and rookies and free agents in the secondary. Imagine what they could do if they were healthy?
It’s hard not to wonder what the Eagles season would have resulted in had they been healthy on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, they weren’t. Every team goes through injuries, and the strong teams keep pushing forward. Philadelphia kept pushing forward, and they were 2:00 away from moving on to the NFC Championship game for the second year in a row. This team has a bright future, and we should all be excited about it. #FlyEaglesFly