Eagles

Eagles injury update: Carson Wentz downgraded to doubtful

Eagles injury update: Carson Wentz downgraded to doubtful

Carson Wentz has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Rams, according to the official injury report released by the team on Friday afternoon. 

Just hours earlier, head coach Doug Pederson said Wentz would be questionable for this game, despite also saying that the stress fracture in Wentz’s back will take around three months to fully heal. 

It seems pretty clear the Eagles are preparing for Nick Foles to start this game after Wentz missed practice all week, so it’s worth wondering about the need for Wentz to travel with the team. Sitting on a 5 1/2 hour flight seems like it might put unnecessary stress on Wentz’s ailing back. 

On Friday morning, Pederson said Wentz would travel to Los Angeles with the team, but if for some reason he doesn’t make the trip, the Eagles would need to downgrade him to out. 

As for the rest of the Eagles’ injury report, here is is: 

Out: Jordan Hicks (calf), Tim Jernigan (back), Sidney Jones (hamstring), Isaac Seumalo (pec)

Questionable: Michael Bennett (foot), Shelton Gibson (wrist), Avonte Maddox (ankle, knee) 

The four guys who are ruled out for this game missed practice all week, so there’s no surprise they won’t play in this game. Hicks hasn’t played since the New Orleans game, when he hurt his calf. Jernigan returned a few weeks ago, but back spasms have kept him out since. Jones tried to play through a hamstring injury last week, but didn’t get on the field this week. 

Without Seumalo, who hurt his pec in the loss to the Cowboys, the Eagles will start Stefen Wisniewski in his place at left guard. That’s a significant loss, especially as the Eagles are about to face Aaron Donald and a dominant Rams’ defensive line. Seumalo had quietly been playing pretty well since early season struggles. 

As for the questionable players, Bennett has been listed as questionable for the last couple weeks but has been able to play through his foot injury. I’d expect that to continue. 

We don’t really have a sense of whether or not Maddox will play this weekend. He’s been out since the Saints game, but the Eagles could certainly use him. It’s not entirely clear where he’d play this week if he returns. He has played safety and nickel corner this season. 

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Eagles to host New Jersey high school football game suspended after shooting

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Eagles to host New Jersey high school football game suspended after shooting

The Eagles on Wednesday at Lincoln Financial Field will host the rest of a New Jersey high school playoff football game that was suspended because of a shooting. 

The game between Pleasantville High School and Camden High School was stopped on Friday night after a shooting in the crowd in Pleasantville that left three wounded, including a 10-year-old boy and a 15-year-old student

According to NBC 10, a suspect has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and two weapons counts, while three other men have been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. 

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) announced on Monday afternoon that the Eagles offered up their stadium to finish the approximately 17 remaining minutes of the playoff game. The NJSIAA had been looking for a neutral site. 

Larry White, the executive director of the NJSIAA, said the following in a statement released Monday: 

“It’s extremely unfortunate that a senselessly violent act has impacted this game, and there will certainly be a wide range of emotions along both sidelines. However, thanks to the Eagles’ generosity and community spirit, Pleasantville and Camden student-athletes and their families will have an opportunity to write their own ending to this game. They’ll compete on a world-class stage, sending a clear message that violence will not win.”

The Eagles are expected to release a statement and more information about the game on Tuesday. 

The NJSIAA took up the Eagles on their offer but thanked other schools for their assistance. The Black Horse Pike School District also offered to host the game. 

The game will resume at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. While the Linc will be closed to the public, each school will be given free passes for players’ parents and family members. The game will also be streamed live on NJ.com. 

The shooting on Friday night occurred in the third quarter with Camden leading 6-0. The winner of this game will face Cedar Creek on Saturday, Nov. 30 for the Central Group 2 Sectional Championship. 

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The interesting wrinkle in Jay Ajayi's contract

The interesting wrinkle in Jay Ajayi's contract

The Eagles on Friday signed running back Jay Ajayi for the rest of the 2019 season, but based on what’s written into the contract, the Eagles will basically have the option to bring him back in 2020. 

Here’s the report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport: 

So basically, Ajayi will kind of be a restricted free agent at the lowest (right of first refusal) level. That means the Eagles have the option to match a contract and keep the player, but won’t get compensation back if he goes elsewhere like a higher-level tendered player. The Eagles will still be eligible for a compensatory pick if Ajayi signs elsewhere and they don't match the offer. 

This is an interesting wrinkle to Ajayi’s contract, especially in the entire scope of the Eagles’ running back situation. 

Because, remember, Jordan Howard is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. As long as he’s able to return from this stinger soon, he would be a realistic candidate to get an extension before the end of the season. But, to me, this part of Ajayi’s contract is sort of like an insurance policy if the Eagles aren’t able to re-sign Howard during free agency. Or if they choose to move on from Howard. 

The Eagles seem to like having a running back rotation and the only running back guaranteed to return in 2020 is Miles Sanders. Either Howard or a healthy Ajayi (we’ll see) would seemingly be a good complement. 

I say we’ll see because Ajayi hasn’t played football in over a year. He signed on Friday, but Doug Pederson opted to not play him two days later. During his career, Ajayi has been a very productive runner, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. 

But Ajayi, 26, tore his ACL last season and already had long-standing knee issues, so there’s some serious doubt about his football future. Ajayi will have a chance to answer some of those questions in the final six games of the 2019 season. 

“We will incorporate him,” Pederson said on Monday. “Again, if Jordan (Howard) … if he doesn't practice or whatever during the week then we definitely will get Jay ready to go.”

The Eagles at least took out an insurance policy of sorts. If Ajayi does have something left, they’ll have the option of bringing him back in 2020 no matter what other team is interested in him.

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