Eagles

Examining the Eagles' endless rash of cornerback injuries

Examining the Eagles' endless rash of cornerback injuries

With injuries continuing to plague the cornerback position, the Eagles yesterday signed … 

OK, how many stories have you read in the past 13 months that started out that way?

This time it’s Orlando Scandrick, but one constant of the Eagles since last year started has been cornerback injuries.

Rasul Douglas — knock on wood — is the only regular corner that hasn’t missed extensive time with injuries.

Cornerback injuries decimated the Eagles last year. They started the season in Tampa with Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby as the starters and Avonte Maddox, Douglas and Sidney Jones as the backups and they finished it with Cre’Von LeBlanc, Douglas and Maddox as the starters and Josh Hawkins off the bench.

The carousel hasn’t stopped turning this year. 

LeBlanc is on IR. Mills is on PUP. Darby left the Lions game with a hamstring injury and Jones left the Packers game with a hamstring injury.

The Eagles beat Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers Thursday night at Lambeau Field with two healthy corners, one of whom entered the game having never played a regular-season defensive snap.

That was Craig James, who had been on the practice squad two days earlier. He wound up making the defensive play of the season so far, deflecting a last-ditch Aaron Rodgers pass that Nigel Bradham intercepted, sealing the Eagles’ 34-27 win over the Packers.

Now Scandrick, who spent the summer here, is back on the roster, and when he plays against the Jets Sunday he’ll become the 11th cornerback and 20th defensive back to play for the Eagles since opening day 2018. 

But unless Darby is able to get back without missing a game, the Eagles still have only three healthy corners — only one of whom has played more than two snaps in an Eagles uniform.

Mills will be eligible to return for the Cowboys game on Oct. 20. LeBlanc will be eligible two weeks later. There’s a kid named Ajene Harris on the practice squad.

But four games into the season, the Eagles find themselves in the same predicament they’ve been in for most the last two years.

Trying to cobble together a healthy, productive cornerback rotation in an age where three- and four-receiver sets are the norm and the Eagles face a Hall of Fame quarterback seemingly every other week.

“It’s challenging,” Doug Pederson said. “It is challenging. Just like it was with the receivers, now it's affecting the defensive backs. So it's a challenging deal. Fortunately, we have some days here to get guys healthy.”

That said, here’s a look at the Eagles’ cornerback injuries and roster movement on a day-to-day basis since last year began. I didn’t include players the Eagles signed and released during the offseason who were never on the 53-man roster or practice squad during the season:

Eagles' cornerback activity since 2018
Sept. 2, 2018: Signed De’Vante Bausby to the practice squad
Sept. 2, 2018: Signed Chandon Sullivan to the practice squad
Sept. 11, 2018: Released De’Vante Bausby from the practice squad 
Oct. 11, 2018: Sidney Jones left Giants game with hamstring injury
Oct. 16, 2018: Signed Dexter McDougle
Oct. 25, 2018: Promoted Chandon Sullivan to the 53-man roster
Oct. 28, 2018: Jalen Mills left Jaguars game with shin injury
Nov. 5, 2018: Claimed Cre’Von LeBlanc off waivers from the Lions
Nov. 5, 2018: Released Dexter McDougle
Nov. 5: Signed De’Vante Bausby to the practice squad
Nov. 17: Promoted De’Vante Bausby to the active roster
Nov. 17: Placed Ronald Darby on Injured Reserve (knee)
Nov. 18: Ronald Darby left Saints game with knee injury 
Nov. 18: Sidney Jones left Saints game with knee injury
Nov. 18: Avonte Maddox left Saints game with knee injury
Nov. 20: Signed Jeremiah McKinnon to the practice squad
Dec. 8: Placed Jalen Mills on Injured Reserve (foot)
Dec. 9: Sidney Jones left Cowboys game with hamstring injury
Dec. 11: Signed Josh Hawkins to the practice squad
Dec. 24: Promoted Josh Hawkins to the active roster
Dec. 24: Released De’Vante Bausby
Dec. 24: Released Chandon Sullivan
Dec. 26: Signed Chandon Sullivan to the practice squad
Jan. 14: Signed Jeremiah McKinnon to future contract
Jan. 14: Signed Chandon Sullivan to future contract
March 15: Signed Ronald Darby 
May 1: Waived Chandon Sullivan
May 10: Signed Jay Liggins
July 26: Claimed Alex Brown off waivers
July 27: Signed Orlando Scandrick
Aug. 4: Signed Ajene Harris
Aug. 16: Released Jay Liggins
Aug. 31: Placed Jalen Mills on PUP
Sept. 2: Signed Cre’Von LeBlanc
Sept. 2: Placed Cre’Von LeBlanc on Injured Reserve (foot)
Sept. 2: Signed Craig James to the practice squad
Sept. 11: Promoted Craig James to the 53-man roster
Sept. 12: Signed Ajene Harris to the practice squad
Sept. 17: Released Craig James
Sept. 18: Signed Craig James to the practice squad
Sept. 22: Ronald Darby left Lions game with hamstring injury
Sept. 24: Promoted Craig James to the active roster
Sept. 26: Sidney Jones left Packers game with hamstring injury
Sept. 26: Avonte Maddox left Packers game with concussion and neck injury
Sept. 27: Signed Orlando Scandrick 

And here’s a look at the 10 cornerbacks the Eagles have used since opening day last year with the number of starts they’ve made first and the number of games they’ve played second:

Rasul Douglas: 11-22
Avonte Maddox: 14-19
Ronald Darby: 12-12
Jalen Milles: 8-8
Sidney Jones: 7-13
Cre'Von LeBlanc: 1-10
De'Vante Bausby: 1-6
Chandon Sullivan: 1-5
Dexter McDougle: 1-2
Josh Hawkins: 0-3
Craig James: 0-2



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Carson Wentz speaks out against institutional racism in wake of George Floyd’s death

Carson Wentz speaks out against institutional racism in wake of George Floyd’s death

Carson Wentz doesn’t often speak out about social or racial issues but the Eagles’ franchise quarterback made a notable and worthwhile exception on Thursday evening, condemning institutional racism in the United States following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota on Monday. 

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis on Monday night by a police officer in an incident caught on camera. The officer kneeled on his neck for an extended period of time while Floyd was handcuffed. 

Wentz, who grew up in North Dakota, about six hours from Minneapolis, tweeted the following heartfelt and thoughtful message on Thursday night: 

Been thinking about the George Floyd situation and thinking of the words to say & coming up empty. All I know is that the institutional racism in this country breaks my heard and needs to stop. Can’t even fathom what the black community has to endure on a daily basis. 

Being from North Dakota, I’ve spent a large part of my life surrounded by people of similar color, so I’m never gonna act like I know what the black community goes through or even has gone through already. I’ll never know the feeling of having to worry about my kids going outside because of their skin color. 

However, I do know that we are all equal at the foot of the cross and Jesus Taught us to value others’ lives like they were our own — regardless of skin tone. 

So, this might see like a ramble — and perhaps it is. I don’t understand the society that we live in that doesn’t value all human life. It’s heartbreaking and disturbing. My prayers go out to every man, woman, and child that has to endure the effects of racism in our society. 

Shortly after Wentz’s statement, Zach Ertz sent out his own statement on the situation. 

The video of the incident shows Floyd on the ground, handcuffed, as a police officer kneels on his neck, even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. 

The four police officers involved in the incident have been fired but as of Thursday evening had not been charged with any crimes. 

The Vikings released a statement on Wednesday: 

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of life that occurred Monday evening just blocks from our stadium. Everyone in our community deserves the right to feel protected and safe. Our thoughts are with the George Floyd family and all individuals who have been affected by this tragedy."

Wentz and Ertz’s speaking out is also notable, frankly, because they’re white athletes. Many minority athletes have spoken out since Floyd’s death but having star white athletes join them is very important. 

Back when Malcolm Jenkins was raising his fist during the National Anthem to demonstrate against social and racial inequality and injustice, Chris Long began to put his arm around Jenkins in a show of solidarity. Long, at the time, told Jenkins that more white men needed to be allies in the fight. 

Wentz and Ertz positioned themselves as allies on Thursday night. 

While Wentz has been very philanthropic during his four-year NFL career, he has mostly steered clear of any social, racial or political statements. He made a worthwhile exception here, using his platform to call out something that is clearly wrong, disturbing and sadly not unfathomable. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: Where does Carson Wentz rank among NFL QBs?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Where does Carson Wentz rank among NFL QBs?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro debate Carson Wentz’s rank among all starting NFL quarterbacks. 

Plus, the guys go over the new rules that passed and the big one that didn’t. Which rules would they implement? 

Roob takes a look at the Eagles’ lack of young talent and the guys continue Better or Worse with a deep dive at receiver. 

It’s all here: 

  • (1:50) — Carson Wentz's ranking among starting QBs
  • (17:38) — Eagles' proposed onside kick alternative doesn't get approved
  • (26:12) — The 10 best Eagles under 25-years-old
  • (33:39) — Best Eagles to never make a Pro Bowl
  • (42:14) — Better or Worse: Receiver

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 

Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19



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