Eagles

Eagles Inactives: Despite return to practice, Ronald Darby remains out vs. Redskins

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Eagles Inactives: Despite return to practice, Ronald Darby remains out vs. Redskins

Maybe next week. 

While Ronald Darby came into Monday night listed as questionable, he's not quite ready to return quite yet. He's inactive for Monday Night Football. 

Darby returned to practice this week for the first time since he dislocated his right ankle at FedEx Field in the opener against Washington. He was the only member of the team who was limited in Saturday's light practice. 

At the time of the injury, it looked like it would be season-ending, but the team was confident he would return and expected that return to come in 4-6 weeks. Darby was not made available to reporters this week. 

Mychal Kendricks is a surprise inactive on Monday night. He popped up on the injury report during the week with a hamstring injury and had been listed as questionable. Kendricks is coming off a terrific game in Carolina. With Kendricks out, Nate Gerry is active. Gerry, a draft pick, was signed off the practice squad earlier this week. 

In addition to Darby and Kendricks, the following players are inactive: Shelton Gibson, Justin Hamilton, Steven Means, Elijah Qualls, Chance Warmack. 

Meanwhile, Jordan Hicks (calf) and Wendell Smallwood (knee) are both active against Washington. They had been listed as questionable. 

Hicks left the Carolina game early with a calf injury he suffered during the game. He said it happened because he was overcompensating for his injured ankle. On Saturday he assured reporters he would play on Monday night. When asked if he was 100 percent, he asked who is? 

Smallwood hasn't played in the last two games after suffering a knee injury against the Chargers on Oct. 1. Head coach Doug Pederson originally said the plan was to bring him along slowly this week, but Smallwood was a full participant all week. Getting him back should be a big deal. He had taken the role of third-down back after the loss of Darren Sproles. 

Warmack actually started the game against the Giants at left guard but was beaten out by Stefen Wisniewski. Isaac Seumalo, who began the season as the LG but was pulled, is active again on Monday. Seumalo was inactive for two games until he suited up against Carolina in the last game. 

Defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao is active for the first time since the opener, when he suffered a wrist injury. His coaches praised Vaeao this summer, saying he had a great training camp. 

Here are Washington's inactives: S DeShazor Everett, CB Josh Norman, LB Josh Harvey-Clemons, G Tyler Catalina, OT Ty Nsekhe, TE Jeremy Sprinkle, DL AJ Francis. 

Norman was ruled out on Saturday. Meanwhile, offensive tackle Trent Williams (knee) and Bashaud Breeland (knee) are both active. 

How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

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How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

When you think about the best wide receivers in the NFL today, names like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins come to mind and rightfully so, but the Minnesota Vikings have a pair of wideouts who have given opposing secondaries fits.

This season, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been the perfect complement to each other. Thielen finished the regular season with 91 receptions (eighth-best in the league), 1276 yards (fifth-best) and his 20 catches for 20 or more yards tied for fifth-best overall. As for Diggs, he finished with 64 receptions for 849 yards.

Together, Thielen and Diggs accounted for 54 percent of the Vikings' receiving yards this season. They also combined for 12 touchdowns. In the Vikes' miraculous playoff win over the New Orleans Saints, they accounted for 66 percent of the passing game. They have been the safety valves for Case Keenum all season long.

Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has the rare luxury of lining up either one of them on the inside or outside on any given play. Both are excellent route runners — whether it's doing deep or intermediate routes or crossing routes, and both are excellent blockers.

So how should Jim Schwartz defend against these two? Some believe help over the top on Thielen and playing single coverage on Diggs is the way to go. We may see that concept occasionally in the NFC Championship Game but I have a feeling Schwartz will come up with some variation we have not seen before. The Eagles are not going to completely shut these two down, but their damage can be minimized. Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and the other DBs will put in a full day’s work shadowing these two.

Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

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Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

As the Eagles practiced on Thursday afternoon, just a few days before hosting the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field, vice president of football operations Howie Roseman stood next to owner Jeff Lurie and watched the team he created. 

Of the 53 members on the Eagles' roster heading into this championship game, 25 weren't on the active roster last season. Roseman had a very busy offseason, molding the Eagles into a Super Bowl contender. 

For his efforts, the 42-year-old Roseman, who began with the Eagles as an intern in 2000, has been named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. 

Roseman helped turn over a roster that went 7-9 last season into a team that went 13-3, earning the first-overall seed in the NFC. He built the team with enough depth to survive major injuries to Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Caleb Sturgis. 

Never afraid to make a trade, Roseman came back from his time away from football operations more aggressive than ever. He claims his year away from GM duties while Chip Kelly took over was both humbling and eye-opening. 

For this season, Roseman traded 25 spots in the third round to bring in veteran defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, traded away Jordan Matthews and a pick to bring in cornerback Ronald Darby and pulled the trigger on a midseason move to bring in Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi. 

In free agency, he signed Alshon Jeffery, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Nick Foles, Patrick Robinson and Chance Warmack. He brought in several of those players on one-year prove-it deals, and for the most part, the team has gotten more than their money's worth out of them. 

He also helped hire VP of player personnel Joe Douglas to revamp the scouting department. That hire of a top personnel man was one of the conditions when Lurie reinstated Roseman to power following Kelly's dismissal. 

Roseman and Douglas spearheaded drafting a class that included Derek Barnett in the first round, an injured Sidney Jones in the second and some other contributors in the next five rounds. 

Aside from just bringing players in, Roseman has been able to manipulate the salary cap better than anyone in the league. It's been a strength of his since his arrival in Philly, so that should be no surprise. 

You could actually argue that Roseman's 2016 was more impressive. That's when he laid the groundwork for this playoff season by moving up and drafting Carson Wentz. But 2017 is when it all came together.