chance warmack

Eagles snap counts: The left guard rotation might be dead

usa-stefen-wisniewski-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles snap counts: The left guard rotation might be dead

Stefen Wisniewski started again at left guard on Thursday night, but this time he didn't get taken out. 

It looks like the left guard rotation might be dead. 

After three weeks of rotating with Chance Warmack, Wisniewski played all 62 of the Eagles' offensive snaps on Thursday against the Panthers. Warmack didn't get on the field once with the offense. 

Coming into the game, Pederson had said a couple times that Wiz was going to get more of the work than before but as Thursday night unfolded, he didn't just get more. He got all of it. 

With Wiz as the left guard, the entire offensive line — including Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right tackle for a concussed Lane Johnson — played all 62 snaps. So did Carson Wentz. 

With Wendell Smallwood (knee) still on the shelf, LeGarrette Blount got 30 snaps, Kenjon Barner got 22 and Corey Clement got 10. 

Alshon Jeffery again led the way for the Eagles' receivers in snaps with 56, followed by Nelson Agholor (48) and Torrey Smith (35). Mack Hollins got just nine snaps but caught two passes (both went for first downs) for 38 yards. 

The Eagles actually didn't win the time of possession battle against the Panthers, which kept the Eagles' defense on the field more than they've been used to. The Eagles' defense played 82 snaps on Thursday. The previous season high was 69 against the Giants. The Eagles' defense got into the 80s just once last season. 

Malcolm Jenkins was the only defensive player to be on the field for all 82 plays. He very rarely leaves the field. Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod missed just one snap each and Patrick Robinson missed just two. 

Fletcher Cox returned to action with a beastly performance against the Panthers (see story). If there were any concerns about his calf, he answered them. And Cox certainly wasn't on a pitch count. He played 65 snaps, more than any other defensive lineman. 

Mychal Kendricks played 55 snaps (67 percent) but led the team with 15 tackles. Nigel Bradham, who had the best game of his Eagles' career, had 78 snaps (see story)

Jordan Hicks played 34 snaps (41 percent) before leaving the game with an ankle injury. 

Derek Barnett played a new career-high of 39 snaps and picked up the first half-sack of his career (see story)

Here are full snap counts from Thursday night: 

Offense
Brandon Brooks - 62 snaps (100 percent)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - 62 (100)
Stefen Wisniewski - 62 (100)
Jason Kelce - 62 (100)
Jason Peters - 62 (100)
Carson Wentz - 62 (100)
Alshon Jeffery - 56 (90)
Zach Ertz - 49 (79)
Nelson Agholor - 48 (77)
Torrey Smith - 35 (56)
LeGarrette Blount - 30 (48)
Brent Celek - 24 (39)
Kenjon Barner -22 (35)
Trey Burton - 13 (21) 
Corey Clement - 10 (16)
Mack Hollins - 9 (15)
Isaac Seumalo - 8 (13)
Marcus Johnson - 6 (10)

Defense
Malcolm Jenkins - 82 snaps (100 percent) 
Jalen Mills - 81 (99)
Rodney McLeod - 81 (99)
Patrick Robinson - 80 (98)
Nigel Bradham - 78 (95)
Fletcher Cox - 65 (79)
Brandon Graham - 62 (76)
Rasul Douglas - 56 (68)
Mychal Kendricks - 55 (67) 
Beau Allen - 41 (50)
Chris Long - 41 (50)
Vinny Curry - 40 (49)
Derek Barnet - 39 (48)
Jordan Hicks - 34 (41)
Tim Jernigan - 25 (30)
Justin Hamilton - 15 (18)
Joe Walker - 13 (16)
Corey Graham - 7 (9)
Najee Goode - 5 (6) 
Steven Means - 1 (1)

Eric Rowe tracker
We are keeping an eye on Rowe in New England all season. If he plays more than 50 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps this season, that 2018 fourth-round pick the Eagles got in exchange for him will turn into a third-rounder. 

The Patriots don't play until Sunday, but here's what we have so far this season: 

Week 1: 37 of 69 snaps
Week 2: 34 of 65 snaps
Week 3: 0 of 71 snaps
Week 4: 19 of 63 snaps 
Week 5: 0 of 72 snaps

2017: 90 of 358 (25.1 percent) 

Eagles Injury Update: Cox misses again; Wiz with the first team

Eagles Injury Update: Cox misses again; Wiz with the first team

It's beginning to look more and more likely that the Eagles will be without their best defensive player on Sunday. 

For the second straight day on Thursday, Fletcher Cox missed practice with a calf injury he suffered against the Giants. 

With Destiny Vaeao (wrist) also still out, the Eagles are down to just three healthy defensive tackles. It seems likely that DC Jim Schwartz will use a couple defensive ends inside as a part of the DT rotation this weekend. 

While Cox was out on Thursday, Jason Kelce (knee) was out for the start of practice after being limited on Wednesday. 

With Kelce out on Wednesday, it wasn't possible to see the team's depth chart at left guard because Stefen Wisniewski filled in at center. We know either Wisniewski or Warmack will get the start against the Chargers (see story).

It looks like Wiz is in the lead. Wisniewski took first-team reps at left guard, between Kelce and Jason Peters, on Thursday during individual drills, while Warmack worked with the second team and Isaac Seumalo with the third. 

Even if Wisniewski starts, it doesn't mean they won't rotate during the game. 

Rodney McLeod (hamstring) and Jordan Hicks (ankle) were both practicing again; they were full participants on Wednesday. 

Still no sign of Corey Graham (hamstring) or Jaylen Watkins (hamstring). They missed the game against the Giants and have now missed the first two days of this week. 

Stefen Wisniewski or Chance Warmack to start at left guard vs. Chargers

usa-ap-stefan-wisniewski-chance-warmack-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Stefen Wisniewski or Chance Warmack to start at left guard vs. Chargers

Either Stefen Wisniewski or Chance Warmack will start for the Eagles at left guard this week. 

We just don't know who yet. 

After the two rotated against the Giants in Week 3, head coach Doug Pederson said they will both get work at the position this week before the team hopes to make a decision on Friday afternoon. 

"Not sure yet," Wisniewski said. "We'll see what happens."

After second-year player Isaac Seumalo was benched last week, Warmack got the start. But it wasn't long before he came out of the game in favor of Wisniewski. But it wasn't a clean swap; they rotated the rest of the way. Wisniewski got 44 snaps, while Warmack finished with 32. Warmack had good moments and bad, while Wisniewski seemed to have a better overall game. 

Over the past year, Wiz hasn't been shy about his desire to become a starter in the NFL again.  

"It's definitely been tough," Wisniewski said on Wednesday. "I do still think I'm a quality starting player and I think I showed that when I played last year and I think I showed that last week. I'll continue to keep trying to show that every time I get a shot." 

One thing is clear: the left guard will either be Wisniewski or Warmack. For now, at least, it appears Seumalo, who was handed the starting job before training camp, is the odd man out. 

The Eagles decided on Seumalo just before training camp, when they decided to release veteran Allen Barbre. The Birds eventually got a conditional seventh-round pick for Barbre, but they were prepared to let him go. Seumalo was the guy ... until he gave up three sacks and was beaten all day against the Chiefs. From then, Warmack worked all week with the starters, but the team was prepared for a rotation against the Giants. That's exactly what happened. 

Both Warmack and Wisniewski said they weren't given much notice on Sunday when they were going to be put into the game. Basically, the coaches would tell them "this is your series" and they would get on the field. 

For how much the word "continuity" is used when talking about the play of any offensive line, a rotation at one of the spots seems odd. Though offensive coordinator Frank Reich called the rotation "seamless." 

"Basically whenever they wanted us to switch, they would let us know," Warmack said. "When I go in, I do the best I can. When he goes in, he does the best he can. That's how it goes." 

On Wednesday, Warmack and Wisniewski worked with the first team because center Jason Kelce got a day off. Warmack was at left guard, while Wisniewski played center. But Kelce will be back for the game on Sunday, which means there are two guys fighting for one spot. 

The interesting thing about Warmack and Wisniewski is that while both came into this season as backups, they have significant starting experience in the NFL. 

Wisniewski had 77 starts in five NFL seasons before coming to Philly last year and Warmack had 48 starts in four NFL seasons before he arrived this offseason. 

"You never, never, never know everything," Warmack said. "Wiz is a great player, really knowledgable, has been around a long time. I ask him a lot of questions myself and he helps me a great deal."

The two players also have one more thing in common: they were both given new contracts this offseason after originally signing one-year deals. Warmack was given a year extension just before this season started and Wisniewski signed a three-year deal to stay with the Eagles after his one-year deal from 2016 ran out. 

When Wiz got his new contract, many speculated that he was being given a deal to become a starter. It was definitely a possibility that crossed his mind. 

"I wasn't sure," Wisniewski said. "I knew coming back that there was a chance I'd be a starter but I knew there was a chance that I wouldn't be. I was kind of mentally prepared for both."

While they have some things in common, Warmack and Wisniewski are different players. Warmack is an inch shorter and 20 pounds heavier than Wisniewski. He's known as a bruiser in the run game, while Wisniewski is probably more balanced. 

The Eagles kept just eight offensive lineman on their 53-man roster and already all eight have gotten snaps this season. One of these two players will probably win this job eventually. 

But it doesn't seem like the coaching staff is in a rush.  

"It's so organic, man," Warmack said about his competition with Wisniewski. "It's so cool just to ask questions with your teammate even though you're competing. We're helping each other regardless of the situation. We're all helping each other. That's what it takes to be a good teammate."