Eagles

Alshon Jeffery listed as questionable vs. Cowboys

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Alshon Jeffery listed as questionable vs. Cowboys

Alshon Jeffery will be listed as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas. 

The Eagles' receiver popped up on the injury report with an ankle injury on Thursday, when he was limited. 

Head coach Doug Pederson said he expects Jeffery to play and he's optimistic he'll be able to go. On Thursday, Jeffery said he will "most definitely" play against the Cowboys. 

"It's been kind of lingering a little while," Pederson said. "There's no really one particular game or instance. It's hard for me to even put a finger on when it happened or how it happened. 

"It's something too in his case with all the cutting and stopping and starting in practice and games and where we are at that time of the year, you're going to start seeing more and more guys get added to the list or taken some reps off at practice just so we can keep them healthy for Sunday."

Zach Ertz (hamstring), Ronald Darby (ankle) and Jaylen Watkins (hamstring) were full participants on Wednesday and Thursday, the two most important practice days of the week. Every player — including Jeffery — was a full participant in Friday's indoor practice. Barring setbacks, Ertz and Darby should make their returns on Sunday. 

Ertz missed the Denver game and Darby hasn't played since Week 1, when he dislocated his right ankle. 

The Cowboys are reportedly going to be without left tackle Tyron Smith and linebacker Sean Lee. They're also missing Ezekiel Elliott, who will serve the second game of his six-game suspension.

With Jay Ajayi playing more, one Eagles RB lost snaps

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USA Today Images

With Jay Ajayi playing more, one Eagles RB lost snaps

Jay Ajayi keeps playing more and more. So someone had to lose snaps. 

On Sunday against the Giants, that someone was rookie Corey Clement. 

Clement played just 10 snaps in the 34-29 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. It was the fewest snaps he's played since the Carolina game back on Oct. 12, when he also played 10 snaps. 

While Clement didn't play a ton, he got the ball on half of his snaps. He had four carries for 17 yards and one catch for one yard. 

For the third straight week, Ajayi led the Eagles' running backs in snaps. He's clearly getting in rhythm as the Eagles' top back (see story). He played 35 of 68 offensive snaps (51 percent) against the Giants. He was followed by LeGarrette Blount (17 snaps), Clement (10) and Kenjon Barner (6). 

The entire offensive line and Nick Foles played all 68 snaps. That includes Chance Warmack, who started in place of an injured Stefen Wisniewski. 

Trey Burton played just 11 snaps, his fewest in a game since the Chargers game in Week 4. But he made the most of them, catching a wide open touchdown in the second quarter. Zach Ertz played 60 snaps, Brent Celek played 23. 

On defense, Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Nigel Bradham didn't leave the field, playing all 88 snaps. 

The 88 snaps the defense played was easily the most of the season. The previous high was 82 against the Panthers. The Eagles' defense couldn't get off the field and gave up 504 total yards to Eli Manning and the Giants (see story). Their 88 snaps was the second-highest total under Jim Schwartz. The only other time with more was 89 against the Giants in their second meeting last year. 

After Patrick Robinson left after 47 snaps with a concussion, veteran safety Corey Graham ended up playing 54 snaps (61 percent) and made the clinching play at the end (see story). That's the most he's played all season. He played just 10 snaps last week.  

Najee Goode got eight snaps at linebacker in the team's base package. That was a little surprising because Joe Walker returned from injury. Walker didn't get on the field on defense. 

Here are full snap counts: 

Offense
Lane Johnson - 68 snaps (100 percent)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - 68 (100)
Chance Warmack - 68 (100)
Brandon Brooks - 68 (100)
Jason Kelce - 68 (100)
Nick Foles - 68 (100)
Alshon Jeffery - 61 (90)
Zach Ertz - 60 (88)
Torrey Smith - 51 (75)
Nelson Agholor - 49 (72)
Jay Ajayi - 35 (51)
Brent Celek - 23 (34)
LeGarrette Blount - 17 (25)
Mack Hollins - 13 (19)
Trey Burton - 11 (16)
Corey Clement - 10 (15)
Kenjon Barner - 6 (9)
Isaac Seumalo - 4 (6)

Defense
Malcolm Jenkins - 88 snaps (100 percent)
Nigel Bradham - 88 (100)
Rodney McLeod - 88 (100)
Jalen Mills - 85 (97)
Ronald Darby - 84 (95)
Fletcher Cox - 70 (80)
Brandon Graham - 63 (72)
Mychal Kendricks - 61 (69)
Corey Graham - 54 (61)
Patrick Robinson - 47 (53)
Vinny Curry - 46 (52)
Derek Barnett - 42 (48)
Tim Jernigan - 41 (47)
Chris Long - 39 (44)
Beau Allen - 32 (36)
Destiny Vaeao - 23 (26)
Najee Goode - 8 (9)
Jaylen Watkins - 7 (8)
Kamu Grugier-Hill 2 (2)

Eagles thrilled to avoid another wild-card nightmare

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USA Today Images

Eagles thrilled to avoid another wild-card nightmare

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — They lost in the wild-card round the last three times they reached the playoffs — 2009, 2010 and 2013.

They've lost in the wild-card round six times since 1989, four of them at home. 

The Eagles are 6-6 in the wild-card round since 1989, and only three teams have lost more wild-card games during that span — the Lions (0-8), Vikings (3-7) and Bengals (1-7).

Nobody has lost more home wild-card games since 1989. Nobody.

The Eagles haven't won a wild-card game since 2008 in Minneapolis and they haven't won one at home since 2006 against Eli Manning and the Giants.

So the message, if you're the Eagles, is: PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE WILD-CARD ROUND.

And this year, thanks to their 12-2 start, the Eagles can.

The Eagles on Sunday clinched a first-round bye for the first time in 13 years.

"To me, the significance of having a first-round bye is it puts you one game closer to the Super Bowl," Malcolm Jenkins said. "Two is obviously a lot easier than three. You've still got to win some games, but at least we know we don't have to play that wild-card weekend, we don't have to go on the road that second weekend. You're off that first weekend, your odds go up."

The Eagles can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs as early as Saturday if the Vikings lose to the Packers or with a win Monday night against the Raiders at the Linc (where Nick Foles has won eight straight starts).

"It's big," Brandon Graham said. "Get your body together before getting to the real, real deal. 

"It's a reward. To know that we've got a first-round bye and we don't even have to worry about that first round of the playoffs? Third time I've been in the playoffs, second time I've played, first time I've gotten a first-round bye. It's huge."

The Eagles have only earned a first-round bye five previous times since the AFL-NFL merger and the inception of the wild-card round in 1970 — in 1980, 1988, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

They were at home for the conference semifinals every year but 1988, when they lost to the Bears in the Fog Bowl at Soldier Field in Chicago.

"We're slowly checking boxes," head coach Doug Pederson said. "NFC East a week ago and a bye and a home game (in the conference semifinal round) now. Check the box."

If the Eagles don't clinch the No. 1 seed this coming weekend, they can do it the last weekend of the season either with a win over the Cowboys at the Linc or a Vikings loss at home to the Bears.

"It's something this organization earned, and we have to keep on fighting and have the same mindset that got us to this position and keep on winning football games," Nelson Agholor said. "Stay hungry."

If anybody understands that simply clinching a first-round bye doesn't mean you're going to make it to the conference championship game, it's Foles.

He was with the Chiefs last year as Alex Smith's backup when they earned a No. 2 seed before losing at home to the Steelers.

"I was fortunate enough to be a part of one last year in Kansas City, but … we can't focus on that," he said.

"It's a long season and guys who are nicked up, it can help with their injuries. But we have to finish these games out strong and keep improving. We still have a lot of work to do this season."