Eagles

Eagles snap counts: Things get wacky because of injuries

Eagles snap counts: Things get wacky because of injuries

After Dallas Goedert suffered a calf injury during warmups on Sunday night in Atlanta, Zach Ertz was the Eagles’ only healthy tight end. 

So for the first time in his career, he didn’t leave the field. 

Ertz played all 81 offensive snaps in the Eagles’ 24-20 loss to the Falcons. 

“It’s probably the first game of my career I’ve played every single snap of a game,” Ertz said. “That’s what I train for. That’s what I train all offseason for, that’s what I train all summer for, to put the team in a position to win.”

Last season, Ertz played 81 of 82 snaps against the Colts in Week 3, but this was indeed the first time in his career that he never left the field.  

Other offensive notes 

• Everything got thrown out of whack because of injuries, especially because of how early they happened. Goedert didn’t play at all. Alshon Jeffery played just six snaps and DeSean Jackson got just 11. 

• That meant JJ Arcega-Whiteside, in his second-career NFL game, played 75 snaps (93 percent). Despite playing 75 snaps, he managed just one catch for four yards. They probably needed more production from him yesterday. 

• Mack Hollins, the Eagles’ fifth receiver, played 69 snaps (85 percent). His previous high in snaps was 38 back in his rookie season in 2017. Hollins had a career-high five catches for 50 yards, including a couple big third-down conversions. 

• Miles Sanders led Eagles running backs in snaps with 35, followed by Darren Sproles (28) and Jordan Howard (18). Corey Clement didn’t get an offensive snap before going down with an injury. Sanders had 10 carries for a measly 28 yards. 

• After being on a pitch count in Week 1, Brandon Brooks played all 81 snaps in Week 2. 

Defensive notes 

• Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Nigel Bradham played all 66 snaps on defense. 

• Despite his struggles, Ronald Darby played the most snaps of the cornerback group with 59, followed by Avonte Maddox (43), Rasul Douglas (39) and Sidney Jones (32). 

• Tim Jernigan played 26 snaps before hurting his foot. That means Hassan Ridgeway played 31 snaps and Akeem Spence, in his first Eagles game, played 26. That’s probably much more than he expected. 

• At DE, Brandon Graham led the way with 51, followed by Derek Barnett (50), Josh Sweat (18) and Vinny Curry (17). Sweat even got work as an interior rusher. 

Offense

Isaac Seumalo: 81 snaps (100 percent)
Brandon Brooks: 81 (100)
Lane Johnson: 81 (100)
Jason Kelce: 81 (100)
Zach Ertz: 81 (100)
Jason Peters: 80 (99)
Nelson Agholor: 78 (96)
JJ Arcega-Whiteside: 75 (93)
Carson Wentz: 75 (93)
Mack Hollins: 69 (85)
Miles Sanders: 35 (43)
Darren Sproles: 28 (35)
Jordan Howard: 18 (22)
DeSean Jackson: 11 (14)
Josh McCown: 6 (7)
Alshon Jeffery: 6 (7)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 4 (5)
Andre Dillard: 1 (1)

Defense 

Rodney McLeod: 66 snaps (100 percent)
Malcolm Jenkins: 66 (100)
Nigel Bradham: 66 (100)
Ronald Darby: 59 (89)
Brandon Graham: 51 (77)
Zach Brown: 50 (76)
Derek Barnett: 50 (76)
Fletcher Cox: 49 (74) 
Avonte Maddox: 43 (65)
Rasul Douglas: 39 (59)
Sidney Jones: 32 (48)
Hassan Ridgeway: 31 (47)
Tim Jernigan: 26 (39)
Akeem Spence: 21 (32)
Nathan Gerry: 20 (30)
Andrew Sendejo: 20 (30)
Josh Sweat: 18 (27)
Vinny Curry: 17 (26)
Johnathan Cyprien: 1 (2)
Craig James: 1 (2) 

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Howie Roseman fails to pull trigger on trade for Jalen Ramsey, who reportedly goes to Rams

Howie Roseman fails to pull trigger on trade for Jalen Ramsey, who reportedly goes to Rams

The Eagles failed to land one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. 

Instead, Jalen Ramsey has been traded to the Rams, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The price to get him was reportedly first-round picks in 2020 and 2021 as well as a fourth-rounder in 2021. 

Would you have done that?

That’s a lot to give up, but Ramsey really is that good. He’s widely considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and is still just 24 years old. Ramsey was the fifth overall pick in 2016. He’s been a Pro Bowler in each of the last two years and was an All-Pro in 2017. 

And now Ramsey is out of the AFC and on an NFC contender. So this is bad for the Eagles in two ways. 

Ramsey is in the final year of his contract this season and is on a fifth-year option in 2020, so he’ll be looking for a big deal soon. But he’s worth it. 

Back on Sept. 16, Ramsey and his agent requested to be traded from Jacksonville, the team that drafted him, after a sideline blowup with head coach Doug Marrone. Since then, the Eagles had clearly been in the mix. 

But Howie Roseman didn’t pull the trigger. There are still a couple weeks left until the trade deadline and there are other options, but opportunities to get shutdown corners who are just 24 don’t come around often. 

Getting Ramsey would have filled an immediate need for the Eagles, who haven’t had a true shutdown cornerback in years. They’ve tried to get by for the last couple years with a hodgepodge group, and they’ll have to continue. At least they do have some youth at corner, but they need some of these young players to play better. This news about Ramsey comes just a couple days after we all watched Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones get toasted against the Vikings.  

The Eagles might get Jalen Mills and perhaps Ronald Darby back this week and that will help, but they won’t help nearly as much as Ramsey would have. 

Ramsey could have been the first Eagles cornerback to make a Pro Bowl since Asante Samuel back in 2010. Yeah, it’s been a long time. 

Ramsey certainly has a loud personality and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. That is always part of what the Eagles look at when they inquire about potentially adding a player. Perhaps that played a role in not getting him. 

Since entering the league in 2016, Ramsey has nine interceptions and 45 pass breakups. During that span, Rodney McLeod has the Eagles’ lead in INTs with seven and Mills leads the Eagles in pass breakups with 30. So Ramsey would have immediately helped at a position where the Eagles desperately need help. Oh well.  

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A blunt assessment from Jim Schwartz on Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas

A blunt assessment from Jim Schwartz on Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas

Cornerbacks always talk about how crucial it is to put bad plays behind them.

Gotta be confident. Gotta have a short memory. Gotta forget about it when you get beat.

Every cornerback gets beat. The great ones bounce back quickly.

Fair to say Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones didn’t bounce back quickly Sunday.

I asked Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz Tuesday how Douglas and Jones have handled having a short memory and putting bad plays behind them, and his answer was surprisingly blunt.

Inconsistently,” he said. “There have been times that they have, but you know like a 3-3 team, we’re all striving for consistency and I think that those guys are striving for that.

Douglas has played fairly well much of the season, although he’s been inconsistent. Jones has struggled both on the field and to stay on the field.

On Sunday, both struggled through their lowest moments. Kirk Cousins victimized both young corners to the tune of four touchdowns and 333 yards in the Vikings’ 38-20 win at U.S. Bank Stadium.

This was the first time Schwartz has spoken this bluntly about Douglas and Jones and their confidence issues.

I don’t know that any of those were lack of confidence or [not] putting a play behind them, but whether it was a penalty, whether it was a physical error or a technique error or a communication error, another bad play ended up rolling up on them and that’s the life they live,” he said. “There were a lot of technique errors, there are a lot of miscommunications in every game with D-linemen and linebackers and everything else, whether you win the game like we did against the Jets or you lose a tough game like we did against the Vikings.

But generally those don’t get the attention that the cornerback position takes, and that’s part of the job description. That scrutiny. Kickers. Quarterbacks. Head coaches. It’s just what we deal with, and corners need to be able to put bad plays behind them, and we’ve been inconsistent doing that.

Jones is only 23 and Douglas is 24, and both come from big-time college programs and were high draft picks in 2017 — Jones in the second round and Douglas in the third. 

The Eagles clearly are hopeful both can go on to become high-level long-term starters.

But Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby could both be back for the Cowboys game on Sunday or, if not, soon after.

We all know both of them have allowed their fair share of big plays, but they’ve also started for a Super Bowl championship team, and nobody has ever questioned their confidence. They’ve both shown a knack for bouncing back.

Who’s going to wind up starting when everybody’s healthy? 

Too early to answer that. But if you’re a coach and you have two cornerbacks who have confidence issues and two who don’t? Who would you play?

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