Eagles

Eagles Injury Update: Rodney McLeod questionable; others ruled out

Eagles Injury Update: Rodney McLeod questionable; others ruled out

Rodney McLeod will be a game-time decision on Sunday against the Giants. 

And the Eagles are really hoping he's able to play. 

McLeod is questionable with a hamstring injury he suffered against the Chiefs, while his backups, Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins, have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Giants with hamstring injuries of their own. Earlier in the day, head coach Doug Pederson said Graham and Watkins would be game-time decisions too; turns out that isn't the case. 

McLeod said he has been healing throughout the week but truly won't know if he'll be able to play or not until Sunday before the game. He was a limited participant in Friday's practice after missing Wednesday and Thursday. The other two members of the Hamstrung Trio missed all three days. 

In addition to Graham and Watkins, Destiny Vaeao (wrist) and Ronald Darby (ankle) have also been ruled out for Sunday. Torrey Smith (illness) is questionable. 

After injuring his hamstring early during last Sunday's game, McLeod was visibly hurting and upset about the injury. He said he's been focusing on treatment all week and is starting to feel better. 

Missing Sunday's game will be tough for Graham because it will snap his 159-game consecutive streak. It was the second-longest among defensive backs in the league. It hurts the Eagles even more. 

With two safeties already ruled out and one questionable, the Eagles are in a tough spot at safety. Their only truly healthy players at the position are Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Maragos and newcomer Trae Elston. 

What are the options if McLeod can't play? 

"Just look at the roster, see who we got," Pederson said. "There's Maragos, we signed Trae. If those two guys, who else you going to ... I'll go back there and play if I have to."

Eagles place special teams ace Chris Maragos on injured reserve

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Eagles place special teams ace Chris Maragos on injured reserve

The Eagles will be without one of their best special teamers the rest of the way. 

The team officially placed special teams ace Chris Maragos (knee) on injured reserve on Thursday morning. 

Maragos went down on punt coverage in the fourth quarter last week against the Panthers. Maragos was in pain and was seen leaving the stadium with a huge brace on his right knee. 

To fill his roster spot, the Eagles have promoted linebacker and fifth-rounder Nate Gerry to the active roster. The Eagles also signed WR Rashard Davis to fill Gerry's spot on the practice squad. 

Gerry is converting from college safety to NFL linebacker but could play a role on special teams. 

Maragos, 30, needed to play on defense a few weeks ago because of injury but his main role with the team is as a special teams ace. He has played more special teams snaps (126) than any other player on the Eagles and is tied for the team lead with six special teams tackles.

He was also voted as one of the Eagles' five captains for the season. The Eagles have two offensive captains, two defensive captains and Maragos was their special teams captain. 

Last November, Maragos signed a three-year extension worth $6 million that goes through the 2019 season.

Zach Ertz loves facing 'Skins and not just because of his crazy numbers

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Zach Ertz loves facing 'Skins and not just because of his crazy numbers

Zach Ertz loves playing the Redskins. And not just because he's put up crazy numbers against them the last five years.

He just loves the rivalry.

"That's probably the one team it's the most fun to play against, in my opinion, because there's been so many great battles," Ertz said.

"Even though we've lost some of them, they're all very close games, and the fans are so close to one another that they really hate us and we really don't like them."

Ertz has 54 catches for 531 yards in nine career games against the Redskins. 

Only two tight ends in history — Jason Witten (125 in 28 games) and Jackie Smith (62 in 27 games) — have more career receptions against the 'Skins. And only two active players have more catches vs. the Redskins than Ertz: Witten and Dez Bryant (58 in 12 games).
 
"I just like going against the Redskins I guess," he said. "The opportunities have been there the last couple games. It's a fun environment.
  
"It's really just having my number called and making the most of my opportunities."

Ertz has been here for five years now. He's been on some good teams and he's been on some bad teams.
 
Six weeks into this season, there's one thing that sets this team apart.
 
"I think it's a loose group, honestly," he said. "We're all pretty young, and none of us have been in this situation before so we're all kind of taking it day by day and just enjoying it.
 
"That's the thing that's stuck out to me this year. In years past we've maybe been a little tight, but I feel like this group is real loose and confident in our abilities.
 
"I think we've got a lot of guys that love the process. I know it's cliche in this city, but a lot of guys truly do love it here."
 
The Eagles, 5-1 with a four-game winning streak, are the hottest team in the NFL going into their NFC East showdown with the 3-2 Redskins at the Linc Monday night.
 
Head coach Doug Pederson made some significant changes this year in the way the Eagles practice. In past years, the first-team offense rarely practiced against the starting defense. This year, they have, and it's helped.
 
"We have a lot of competitive periods during the season that we didn't have in past seasons, where it's the 1's against the 1's on third down emphasis or 1's vs. the 1's in red zone," Ertz said. "So I think we're doing a lot of good stuff. People are attacking each and every day."
 
With the Eagles' Super Bowl odds improving and their status on everybody's NFL rankings skyrocketing, a major theme in the locker room this week is ignoring the outside noise and focusing on a Redskins team that's won three of four games since losing the opener at home to the Eagles.
 
"We were 3-1 last year so obviously that didn't play out too well for us, and that's in the back of everyone's mind," Ertz said. "We started off fast and didn't make the playoffs.
 
"Luckily, it's Year 5 for me in this city and I've kind of been around and I know how it is. If you win, you're the best thing ever and if you lose, you're not very good quickly. So we're just focused on this game. 6-1 is a lot better than 5-2."