Eagles

Eagles snap counts: Jay Ajayi leads way for RBs vs. Seahawks

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Eagles snap counts: Jay Ajayi leads way for RBs vs. Seahawks

For the first time since joining the Eagles at the trade deadline, Jay Ajayi had more snaps than the Birds' other running backs. 

In Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Seahawks, Ajayi played 31 snaps (41 percent), while Corey Clement got 28 snaps, LeGarrette Blount got 14 and Kenjon Barner got two. 

Ajayi carried the ball nine times for 35 yards (3.9), Blount carried it eight times for 26 yards (3.3) and Corey Clement carried it three times for seven yards (2.3). The Eagles got behind in this game and they were finding more success through the air, so the rushing numbers were down.

Ajayi didn't have a great game, but seeing his snap count increase isn't surprising. It's just surprising it took this long. Last week against the Bears he had 22 snaps, which was his previous high with the Birds. 

Barner was on the field just twice on offense, but was out there on that key 4th-and-3 passing play late in the third quarter. The Eagles would have had an easy first down, but Barner stumbled and couldn't get to the ball. The Eagles haven't been afraid to use any of their running backs in any given situation. 

The Eagles entire offensive line and Carson Wentz played all 75 snaps. Zach Ertz played 45 snaps before leaving with a presumed concussion. 

On defense, Najee Goode got 18 snaps (29 percent) without Joe Walker (neck). The Eagles opened in their nickel package, so Goode technically wasn't a starter. Dannell Ellerbe, active for his first time as an Eagle, played just one defensive snap and it came in the first quarter. 

Brandon Graham played 47 snaps to lead the defensive ends. Vinny Curry played 35, while Derek Barnett and Chris Long chipped in 26 apiece. 

Nigel Bradham and Malcolm Jenkins didn't leave the field, playing all 62 defensive snaps. 

Here's a full look: 

Offense
Lane Johnson - 75 snaps (100 percent)
Brandon Brooks - 75 (100)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - 75 (100)
Stefen Wisniewski - 75 (100)
Jason Kelce - 75 (100)
Carson Wentz - 75 (100)
Alshon Jeffery - 70 (93)
Nelson Agholor - 66 (88)
Torrey Smith - 58 (77)
Zach Ertz - 45 (60)
Jay Ajayi - 31 (41)
Corey Clement - 28 (37)
Brent Celek - 23 (31)
Trey Burton - 21 (28)
Mack Hollins - 17 (23)
LeGarrette Blount - 14 (19)
Kenjon Barner - 2 (3)

Defense 
Nigel Bradham - 62 snaps (100 percent)
Malcolm Jenkins - 62 (100)
Jalen Mills - 60 (97)
Rodney McLeod - 60 (97)
Ronald Darby - 56 (90)
Mychal Kendricks - 53 (85)
Fletcher Cox - 51 (82) 
Brandon Graham - 47 (76)
Vinny Curry - 35 (56)
Patrick Robinson - 32 (52)
Tim Jernigan - 31 (50)
Derek Barnett - 26 (42)
Chris Long - 26 (42)
Corey Graham - 23 (37) 
Beau Allen - 23 (37)
Najee Goode - 18 (29)
Destiny Vaeao - 13 (21)
Kamu Grugier-Hill - 2 (3)
Rasul Douglas - 1 (2)
Dannell Ellerbe 1 (2)

Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants

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Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants

The Eagles will have a new quarterback this weekend, but they might not be able to protect him as well as they hope. 

Starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski will officially be listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of an ankle injury. 

Wiz had to leave the Rams game in the first half and did not return. He missed practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday. 

"We'll see where he's at today," head coach Doug Pederson said on Friday. 

After Wisniewski came out of the Rams game, he was replaced by Chance Warmack, who was then replaced by Isaac Seumalo. 

It sounds like Warmack will have the first chance to play this weekend if Wisniewski can't go. 

"We've worked Chance at that position this week," Pederson said. "Isaac has obviously gotten some reps really at all the positions but that would be the most logical."

Seumalo actually began the season as the team's starting left guard after he won the position in the offseason. From there, Warmack got the first crack at replacing him when he was benched, but Warmack couldn't keep the job, eventually giving way to a rotation before Wisniewski simply took over. The line has been much better since Wiz took over the starting job in Week 3. 

Alshon Jeffery and Steven Means, who both missed Thursday's practice with illnesses, will be back on the practice field on Friday. Both should be fine for this weekend's game. 

The Eagles will practice outside in 28-degree weather on Friday as they prepare for Sunday's outdoor game at MetLife Stadium. 

No word on the condition of the recycling can Jason Kelce kicked inside the bubble after getting cleated on Thursday. At least the outdoor practice will give it another day of rest. 

Lucky for Nick Foles, his go-to guy is back

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Lucky for Nick Foles, his go-to guy is back

Nick Foles won't see many familiar faces when he makes his first start for the Eagles in over three years, but at least one of his go-to receivers is still around.

Foles hasn't been in the lineup for a week, and the Eagles quarterback is already getting reinforcements. Zach Ertz cleared the concussion protocol on Wednesday and is expected to play against the Giants on Sunday, adding a valuable weapon to the offense, and reuniting a dynamic duo in the process.

"I feel good, ready to go," Ertz said Wednesday following his first practice back. "Tough week last week obviously not being able to play, but it was the right decision at the time and I'm excited for this week."

Ertz was a rookie when Foles took over as the starting quarterback in 2013, posting a modest 36 receptions for 469 yards and four touchdowns. Yet Ertz really only began to flourish once the job belonged to Foles permanently.

The fifth-year tight end — perhaps on his way to his first Pro Bowl this season — even caught his first NFL touchdown from Foles.

"That was a long time ago, against the Raiders when he was fricking throwing everyone touchdowns," Ertz said this week. "We had a lot of good games together."

Their connection was almost instantaneous. At the time, Brent Celek was still the starter at tight end and getting the bulk of the snaps. Ertz still managed to catch five touchdowns in the Eagles' remaining nine games, including one against in the Saints in the playoffs. Ertz had five or more receptions three times during that span.

"That's my first year in the league, his second year in the league," Ertz said. "He was playing at an unbelievable level. He's still the same quarterback, and we're excited to have him."

Their rapport continued into 2014. Ertz had 25 receptions for 358 yards with two touchdowns when Foles was lost for the season with a broken collarbone.

Ertz acknowledged a quarterback change at this stage of the season can be difficult. Clearly, It's not uncharted territory, either. Even when Foles finally nailed down the job in '13, it was already Week 9, after weeks of going back and forth with Michael Vick.

It took time for the Eagles to make the right decision under center, but they eventually got it right, and it wound up being a historic season. Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a game against the Raiders, and made NFL history at the end of the season with a 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

The transition from Carson Wentz to Foles may not go that smoothly, but Ertz has reason to feel confident everything will be fine.

"It's definitely not the easiest thing switching quarterbacks, but there's a lot of familiarity with Nick," Ertz said. "The coaches understand what Nick does well. (Eagles coach Doug Pederson) has been with him for a long time.

"With Nick, he throws such an easy ball to catch that there's not a real adjustment period in terms of catching the ball. Some quarterbacks throw a tough ball to catch, but Nick's ball is really easy to catch and it makes it easy for receivers."

Foles already survived his first relief appearance, and that was without Ertz. With the tight end and security blanket inactive against the Rams, Foles was able to lead the Eagles on two scoring drives that ended with field goals, including the game-winner.

Again, that was sans Ertz. Imagine what Foles might be able to do with one of the Eagles' top receivers.

Ertz has 57 receptions for 663 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He was on pace for 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns earlier in the campaign but missed a game for the concussion, and another with a hamstring.

Maybe Ertz can still get there over the final three weeks with Foles at the helm. He certainly isn't afraid to push the ball down the field anyway.

"He loves the slinging the ball," Ertz said. "That's what he's been doing his whole career.

"He's a great quarterback. We're excited to have him. I don't think there's anybody else in this situation that we would rather have."

Either way, Foles-to-Ertz is going to feel like a blast from the past. Maybe that connection can help keep the Eagles rolling in December and through the playoffs.