Eagles Injury Update: Ronald Darby nearing return

Eagles Injury Update: Ronald Darby nearing return

The Eagles have won their last seven games. And they've done it without Ronald Darby. 

It seems like they're about to get him back. 

The Eagles' top cornerback has been practicing as a limited participant for the last three weeks, but head coach Doug Pederson said Darby got more reps and was nearly a full participant this last week before the Broncos game. 

"He's another one that will be around to work on his treatment and his rehab and we'll see where we're at when they get back next week, we'll evaluate it some more," Pederson said. "He's in a really good spot to possibly come back and help us in the next week or so."

Darby hasn't played since the opener, when he dislocated his right ankle in Washington. The Eagles might have been overly optimistic when they set a 4-6 week time frame on Darby's recovery. But the bye week will allow him an extra week to prepare for Dallas on Nov. 19. 

Darby tweeted this on Sunday night after the Eagles' 51-23 win. 

Tim Jernigan played just 20 snaps on Sunday afternoon because of an ankle injury, but should be fine. The extra week will help him. Pederson said Jernigan could have come back in the game against the Broncos had the Eagles needed him. 

"We have this time now so he'll be fine next week," Pederson said. 

Here's a name you haven't heard in a while: Caleb Sturgis. But the Eagles' former kicker might be nearing a return from his hip injury. But with the success of his replacement, Jake Elliott, it seems unlikely the Eagles will bring him back from the IR. 

Elliott has made five 50-plus yarders in eight games. 

"Obviously comfortable with what Jake's doing and we'll just have to cross that bridge when we get there," Pederson said. "But nothing has been decided at this point with Caleb."

If nothing else, Sturgis offers the Eagles an insurance policy. 

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

The Eagles have found their replacement for Torrey Smith. 

Heck, they found an upgrade. 

On Thursday, the Birds agreed to terms with veteran speedy receiver Mike Wallace on a one-year deal. The deal is worth $2.5 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. 

This signing makes a ton of sense for the Eagles, especially if they weren’t ready to hand Mack Hollins the starting spot Smith left. Hollins can now split time with Wallace. Even if the Eagles didn’t trade Smith, they weren’t going to keep him at his price tag, so adding Wallace gives the Eagles a veteran with speed at a cheaper cost. 

Wallace, 31, is coming off a season in which he caught 52 passes for 748 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and four touchdowns. For comparison, in 2017, Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards (11.9) and two touchdowns. And Smith dropped seven passes, while Wallace dropped just three, according to ProFootballFocus. In fact, Wallace's numbers weren't far off from Alshon Jeffery's stats last year (57 receptions, 789 yards, 9 touchdowns). 

While Wallace isn’t coming off his best season in 2017, he went over 1,000 yards in 2016 and has averaged 15.0 yards per reception during his nine-year NFL career. The Eagles hope he'll be the deep threat they thought they were getting in Smith. 

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Wallace is second in the league in 40-yard receptions and in 50-yard receptions. He has 43 receptions of 40-plus yards (behind DeSean Jackson's 56) and 26 receptions of 50-plus yards (behind Jackson's 36). 

If that's not recent enough for you, the Eagles had seven pass plays of 50-plus yards in 2017; Wallace had three on his own. He can still stretch the field. 

The Eagles can now start Alshon Jeffery and Wallace on the outside, which will allow them to keep Nelson Agholor in the slot, where he was great last season. Then they’ll still have Hollins and Shelton Gibson (both draft picks from 2017) off the bench. Not bad. 

Wallace will turn 32 before the season starts, so the Eagles have added another veteran player, something they’ve done plenty this season. They already added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata. It’s pretty clear the Eagles see the need to maximize their window of opportunity and getting players to join them is probably easier coming off a Super Bowl win. 

Signing veterans on one-year deals certainly worked well for the Eagles last season and if this one works out too, they will have found a good fit for the 2018 season.  

Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

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Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

The Eagles pulled off trades and signed a few free agents after the new league year began on March 14 ... and it's shortened their Super Bowl odds. 

The Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl LIII improved from 9/1 to 17/2 between Feb. 5 and March 22, according to Bovada. Despite beating them in Super Bowl LII less than two months ago, the Eagles still trail the Patriots, who stood pat at 5/1. 

Here's the full top 10: 

1. Patriots: 5/1
2. Eagles: 17/2
3. Vikings: 9/1
4. Steelers: 12/1
5. Packers: 14/1
5. Rams: 14/1
7. Saints: 18/1
8. Falcons: 20/1
9. Texans: 22/1
9. Jaguars: 22/1
9. Raiders: 22/1

As for the rest of the teams in the NFC East, the next closest to the Eagles are the Cowboys, but their inactivity this offseason gave them longer odds, going from 18/1 to 28/1. The Giants' odds stayed at 50/1, while the Redskins' odds went from 50/1 to 66/1. 

And here's a fun prop bet: The over/under for Michael Bennett sacks in 2018 is set at 8. Last season, he had 8½ with the Seahawks. Now, he's playing on a dynamic defensive line but also figures to play less because of the Eagles' rotation.