Eagles

Deflategate 2.0: Steelers' Mason Rudolph accused of using deflated football in preseason game vs. Eagles

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Deflategate 2.0: Steelers' Mason Rudolph accused of using deflated football in preseason game vs. Eagles

Just hours after the Eagles' first preseason game, we were blessed with the dumbest NFL storyline of the year.

Deflategate is back, this time without the fun of Tom Brady being owned by Roger Goodell and the NFL.

In the third quarter of Thursday's Eagles-Steelers preseason game, WIP's Howard Eskin reported that Steelers rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph was using a vastly deflated ball.

In a preseason game.

Whether intentional or not, the ball will be sent back to Wilson, the manufacturer, for review, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

NFL vice president of football communications Michael Signora told Rapoport that "all footballs were in compliance with NFL rules following the pregame inspection process & all proper procedures were followed. In the 3Q, a football that was found to be defective was removed from play, will be sent back to Wilson for review.”

The Steelers went on to beat the Eagles, 31-14, with Rudolph leading the Steelers to three field goal drives in the second half. Rudolph, the Steelers' third-round pick, finished 7 of 12 for 101 yards.

After a lengthy back-and-forth court battle, Brady was suspended for four games to start the 2016 season for his role in the original Deflategate case and subsequent non-compliance with the league's investigation. Brady was accused of using deflated footballs during the Patriots' AFC Championship Game win over the Colts in 2015.

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Eagles lose Derek Barnett to season-ending injury

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Eagles lose Derek Barnett to season-ending injury

The Eagles will be without defensive end Derek Barnett for the rest of the 2018 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Barnett, 22, is reportedly having shoulder surgery and his season is over.

Barnett suffered his shoulder injury during the Titans game and he then missed the Vikings game. He returned to play against the Giants and Panthers, but apparently couldn’t continue to go.

His second NFL season will end with 2½ sacks. Before the shoulder injury, Barnett had been the Eagles' best and most consistent defensive end.

Without Barnett, the Eagles will likely start Michael Bennett at right defensive end. This will have a domino effect because not only will it limit the defensive end rotation, it will also likely limit the number of snaps Bennett can take inside at defensive tackle.

The Eagles were already thin at DT, having just Fletcher Cox, Treyvon Hester and Bruce Hector healthy for the Panthers game. Even when Haloti Ngata (calf) returns, the Eagles still don't have a ton of depth there. Tim Jernigan is allowed to return according to the Non-football Injury rules, but there's been no indication he's close to being ready.

At least in the short term, this should mean an uptick in defensive snaps for rookie Josh Sweat and added importance on Chris Long's role. Sweat has played just 15 defensive snaps all season.

Barnett, of course, was the Eagles' first-round selection last season. He was a rotational player as a rookie, but assumed a starting role in his second NFL season, even after the Eagles traded for a Pro Bowler in Bennett. Early this season, Barnett showed the ability to not just rush the passer but play very well in the run game.

Go ahead and add Barnett to the Eagles' ever-growing list of players on injured reserve:

Derek Barnett
Jay Ajayi
Mike Wallace
Mack Hollins
Rodney McLeod
Richard Rodgers
Destiny Vaeao

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Giants trade cornerback Eli Apple to the Saints

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Giants trade cornerback Eli Apple to the Saints

Another day, another trade in the NFC East.

The day after the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper from the Raiders, the Giants traded away cornerback Eli Apple to the Saints, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2019 and a seventh-rounder in 2020.

The move has implications for the Eagles, given the Saints were also reportedly interested in Cardinals star corner Patrick Peterson. The trade for Apple could remove a big contender from the Peterson sweepstakes, although Peterson, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, should still have an enormous market.

Apple, the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft, is the second first-round pick the Giants have recently parted ways with. The team released Ereck Flowers, a 2015 first-round selection, on Oct. 8. Flowers was signed by the Jaguars on Oct. 12. 

At 1-6, the Giants appear to be looking toward the future with this move, although, as many on social media have been quick to note, they still have another Eli on their roster — 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning.

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