Eagles

Eagles Injury Update: Jake Elliott (concussion) cleared to play vs. Bears

injury-report-eagles.jpg

Eagles Injury Update: Jake Elliott (concussion) cleared to play vs. Bears

After a week of worrying, everyone can finally relax. 

Jake Elliott is going to play Sunday. 

The Eagles' kicker officially cleared the NFL's concussion protocol Friday morning, when he was cleared by an independent neurologist. Throughout the week it looked likely that Elliott would be able to play, but it didn't become official until Friday. 

Elliott suffered a concussion against the Cowboys during the first half of Sunday's game at AT&T Stadium. The Eagles needed to finish the game going for two-point conversions and with linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill kicking off. 

"When the hit happened on the opening kickoff, I was a little bit rattled," Elliott said Friday afternoon. "I had never had a concussion before. That was my first one. I didn't feel too loopy right at the time but as the first quarter went on, it just started to get worse and worse. That final play I was in there, was kind of a little bit of a haze. I decided to go seek someone out after that."

It wasn't until Elliott missed a 34-yarder that he went and got checked out. He said he didn't want to make excuses for the missed kick but "was a little bit out of it" on that play.  

Meanwhile, Beau Allen (knee) and Trey Burton (back) will both be game-time decisions, according to head coach Doug Pederson. Both are listed as questionable. 

Burton's back spasms came from the game Sunday and he has been dealing with the issue all week. He missed practice Thursday. If Burton can't play, the Eagles would go into Sunday's game with two tight ends β€” Zach Ertz and Brent Celek. If Burton is inactive, Celek will likely have an increased role, Pederson said. 

If Allen can't play, it's likely rookie Elijah Qualls will be active for the first time since the Arizona game. Qualls has played just 50 defensive snaps all season. 

Eagles might lose backup defensive back

usa-watkins.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles might lose backup defensive back

Jaylen Watkins' time in Philadelphia might just be coming to an end. 

The Eagles don't plan to tender Watkins, who is a restricted free agent, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Watkins, 26, played a decent role with the Eagles in 2017. He came into the summer as a safety, but when the team needed him at corner, he began to fill in there. He offered them a backup at multiple spots. 

So why won't the Eagles tender him? 

Well, if the Eagles did place a tender on Watkins, it would have been an original-round tender. He was drafted in the fourth round back in 2014. So teams could have negotiated with Watkins as a RFA but if the Eagles didn't match the offer sheet, they'd get back a fourth-round pick. Sounds great, except for one thing. 

The problem with the original-round tender is that it would bring back Watkins on a one-year deal worth just over $1.9 million. That's a projection after last year's number was just under $1.8 million. 

Watkins proved to be a valuable backup for the Eagles in 2017, but $1.9 million is probably just a little too pricey, especially as the Eagles are sitting around $9 million over the cap and have to trim that number down. 

And the Birds should have plenty of younger depth at corner in 2018. 

Not tendering Watkins doesn't necessarily mean he won't be back. What it does mean is he'll be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He will be able to negotiate with any team freely, but that will also include the Eagles, who might be willing to bring him back for a lesser price. 

Darren Sproles doesn't look ready to retire

usa-darren-sproles.jpg
USA Today Images

Darren Sproles doesn't look ready to retire

Darren Sproles seems well on his way to a full recovery.

Just five months after tearing his ACL and breaking his forearm, Sproles posted this video in his Instagram story.

The 12-year veteran back and return specialist has been saying that he's not quite ready to retire. 

"I don't have to play next year, but I'm leaning towards coming back," Sproles said back in December. "I can't end like this."

The Eagles will have an interesting decision to make regarding Sproles who will be a free agent this offseason along with veteran LeGarrette Blount. With Jay Ajayi locked in for 2018 and the emergence of undrafted back Corey Clement, the Super Bowl champions face some tough choices.