Eagles

Eagles Injury Update: Darren Sproles, Lane Johnson expected to play vs. Cowboys

Eagles Injury Update: Darren Sproles, Lane Johnson expected to play vs. Cowboys

Doug Pederson on Wednesday morning said he expects right tackle Lane Johnson and running back Darren Sproles to be able to play Sunday night against the Cowboys. 

Those are two big nuggets of news. Sproles hasn’t played since Week 1 because of a hamstring injury and Johnson sprained his MCL in the Jaguars game on Oct. 28. Both were limited practice participants Wednesday. 

Based on Pederson’s press conference … 

It sounds like the following players will be able to play Sunday: 

• Darren Sproles (hamstring)
• Lane Johnson (knee)
• Corey Graham (hamstring)

And the following won’t: 

• Jalen Mills (foot)
• Sidney Jones (hamstring) 
• Tim Jernigan (back) 

Those things could, of course, change, but that’s how it sounded Wednesday morning. 

Jason Kelce was missing at Wednesday's practice, but for non-injury reasons. 

Johnson’s MCL sprain has been reported to be a Grade 2 sprain, which is normally a multi-week injury. Johnson had already been playing through a high ankle sprain. He had a brace on his right knee at practice.

“Listen, Lane’s a tough guy now. He is a tough guy,” Pederson said. “In his mind, I think he would want to play. Our expectation is that he does play. At the same time, I say that, but I don’t want to put somebody out there that might be less than 100 percent too. We’ll get him ready like we get all the guys ready and the expectation is that he will play.”

Sproles hasn’t played since Week 1 and it feels like Pederson has been saying Sproles is close since Week 2. But getting him back to practice is a good sign he’ll be able to go. So was cutting DeAndre Carter, who had been the team’s punt returner in Sproles’ absence. If Sproles can't play, Pederson said it has a punt return plan, but wouldn't divulge it. 

Pederson said Mills is day to day, but “might be a touch longer” after hurting his foot in Jacksonville. 

While Pederson said Graham will get practice time this week, he said Jones is a “little bit different,” making it seem like Jones will be out for a while longer. 

If Mills and Jones can’t play, the Eagles will likely start Rasul Douglas outside and might move Avonte Maddox to nickel cornerback to play Graham at safety. The Eagles also cut Dexter McDougle, who had been the nickel corner and brought in Cre’Von LeBlanc. A lot of moving parts. 

Finally, Jernigan (back) is still on the non-football injury list but has been cleared to practice. The Eagles have three weeks to add him to their active roster. 

“We’re going to bring [Jernigan] slowly, day by day,” Pederson said. “We've got time with him. We don’t have to do anything right now. We've got a couple weeks with him. Each day, we’re going to give him more and more. He hasn’t done anything football wise in a long time. So just want to see where he’s at health-wise here each day.”

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The Giants are in disarray (so are the Redskins and Cowboys)

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The Giants are in disarray (so are the Redskins and Cowboys)

While we await confirmation Nick Foles will become an unrestricted free agent (more on that here and here), let’s check in with the rest of the NFC East. Good news, Eagles fans — the club may not get anything in return for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback, but their offseason is still off to a better start than their division rivals’.

The Giants are a mess

The headlines have not been kind to the organization over the past week. Odell Beckham Jr.? Possibly on the move. Landon Collins? As good as gone. And the Giants still don’t know what they’re doing about a quarterback for 2019.

The mere possibility the Giants could trade their best player and one of the top receivers in the NFL should be concerning to any QB who might take the job. Beckham was reportedly on the block last season too, and the organization ultimately decided not to pull the trigger, yet league insider Jay Glazer boldly predicted a swap is coming this offseason. The key word there is predicts, not reports, but Glazer is connected and wouldn’t throw that out there on a whim.

While Beckham’s fate is unclear, Collins seems certain his time in New York is over. The three-time Pro Bowl selection cleaned out his locker on Wednesday, then took to social media so there was no mistaking how the action relates to his impending free agency.

The Giants appear poised to get weaker on defense, perhaps on both sides of the ball, yet ideally would find a signal caller to replace Eli Manning. Sounds like their front office has a great sales pitch!

But Colin Cowherd says Ciara wants to live in New York, so I’m sure the Seahawks plan on shipping Russell Wilson — a top-10 franchise quarterback — over to the Giants any day now.

Washington, also a mess

Similar to the Giants, Washington needs a quarterback and may lose a key cog on defense.

It was no secret Alex Smith would miss 2019 with an injury, and general manager Doug Williams more or less confirmed the club is searching for a solution. I believe Washington has a better team, more aggressive management and thus is a more likely landing spot for Foles than New York, so this a situation to monitor in free agency. For now, the offense is in a bind.

Washington is not expected to use the franchise tag on Preston Smith, either. The 26-year-old outside linebacker is headed toward free agency with 24.5 sacks in four NFL seasons.

The Cowboys are a mess, too

Jason Garrett is officially a lame-duck head coach in the final year of his contract. Nobody knows who will be calling the plays for the Cowboys offense in 2019 — Garrett or new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who was the team’s backup quarterback less than two years ago — but the staff in place led the best players in the conference to seven points in the Pro Bowl in January. What could possibly go wrong?

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Would Giants really let Landon Collins become a free agent?

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Would Giants really let Landon Collins become a free agent?

Landon Collins is arguably the Giants’ best defensive player and he’s just 25 years old. 

So would the Giants really let him walk? 

It would be hard to believe, but apparently, this happened today: 

After that tweet, Paul Schwartz from the New York Post reported Collins had, in fact, not cleaned out his locker. 

Well, who would know if Collins cleaned out his locker today? Collins might have an idea. 

It certainly seems like the situation between player and team has reached a boiling point of sorts. 

A few days ago, I wrote the Giants simply couldn’t afford to let Collins walk, so if they couldn’t reach a long-term deal, they would need to slap a franchise tag on him. And it seems very possible the source of this contention could be over the chance the Giants slap a franchise tag on Collins. 

Here’s what NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo had to say about the situation: 

That all seems to make sense. According to other recent reports before today, there wasn’t much movement between Collins and the Giants on contract talks. Collins has made it clear he doesn’t want to be franchise tagged, which could set up a situation where the Giants tag him (the safety tag will be about $12 million in 2019) and there’s a standoff. 

Collins has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons and was an All-Pro in 2016. 

I still think the Giants really can’t afford to let Collins leave. He’s too good and too young and they’d miss him too much. In my list of the top pending free agents from the division, I ranked Collins behind just DeMarcus Lawrence and Nick Foles (see story)

If Collins does end up as a free agent, that’s great news for the Eagles because while they probably wouldn’t be in the market for his services, at least he’d likely be leaving the division. 

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