Eagles

Former Eagles WR blames medical staff for lingering injury issues

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Former Eagles WR blames medical staff for lingering injury issues

Jordan Matthews' 2017 season was hindered by an injured thumb and a chest injury, but the Bills' wide receiver blames the Eagles' medical staff for his lingering injuries.

In a Sirius NFL Radio interview Tuesday, via The Buffalo News, Matthews said "two really bad diagnoses" by the Eagles' doctors didn't catch a need for surgery to repair damage to his knee and ankle.

"I think the worst and most frustrating thing about the whole situation was, when I got to Buffalo, I was still dealing with the things that I had to get surgery on," Matthews. "But I had two really bad diagnoses on the knee and the ankle, so going into the trade, I thought they were both things that were going to heal on their own. But once I got around Buffalo's doctors, they got me in touch with the right people and then I got really good feedback.

"We ended up finding out there were other things that I was dealing with, so the thumb was definitely upsetting, the chest was upsetting. But what's crazy was when they ended up doing my surgery on my knee, they actually told me that, 'Man, it's a good thing that you didn't play more games, you didn't practice more, because you needed to come here and get this procedure done as soon as possible.' So, if anything, it was a blessing in disguise. I don't regret any of the times that happen. I think it honestly has just made me a stronger person, it's going to make me a better player."

Matthews was traded, along with a 2018 third-round pick, to Buffalo for Ronald Darby last August. Matthews played in 10 games for the Bills, hauling in 25 receptions for 282 yards and one touchdown. 

Matthews suffered a chest injury in his first practice with the Bills, causing him to miss the remainder of the preseason. After mid-season thumb surgery caused him to miss one game in October, Matthews had his season ended early when he was placed on IR in early December because of a lingering knee issue. Soon after, Matthews had surgery performed on both his left knee and right ankle. 

Matthews dealt with ankle and knee injuries during his time with the Eagles. Matthews missed the entire 2016 preseason with a knee injury after taking a low hit in training camp. He would also miss two of the final five games of that season due to an ankle injury.

The knee injury, which the team officially termed as tendinitis, then caused Matthews to miss a good chunk of offseason work. At the first full-team training camp practice prior to the 2017 season, Matthews said he considered having offseason surgery on the knee but opted for rehab instead. 

Matthews is set to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. 

Andre Dillard's switch from left tackle to right tackle is like trying to write left-handed

Andre Dillard's switch from left tackle to right tackle is like trying to write left-handed

How challenging is it for Andre Dillard to move from left tackle to right?

"Think about it like this," Dillard said. "You probably write with your right hand, right? So all of a sudden, say you had to write a big essay with your left hand. Right now. That's basically it. Write with your left hand. Think about how that would feel."

Dillard, a left tackle since he was 14, will make his first lifetime start at right tackle on Sunday when the Eagles face the Seahawks at the Linc.

Dillard said he's never played right tackle in a game on any level.

"Your brain kind of acts like a muscle in this case," he said. "You do one thing one way for 10 years, like I have, then everything about you is geared toward that. You flip it, your brain's like, 'Oh heck.' But this week's been a good week of preparation."

Dillard replaced injured left tackle Jason Peters in the second quarter of the Vikings game and stayed there through the Bills game, making his first three career starts and playing at a high level. Peters returned for the Patriots, but when right tackle Lane Johnson got hurt in the second quarter, it was Halapoulivaati Vaitai that entered the game at right tackle.

That didn't go so well. The Eagles, up 10-0, didn't score another point.

So Dillard spent this past week practicing at right tackle, and unless Johnson is somehow cleared through concussion protocol before Sunday, the rookie first-round pick will make his first career start on the right side against the Seahawks.

"Anytime you go from left to right side, it's a lot harder than people think," right guard Brandon Brooks said. "Not only are you flipping all the plays completely opposite but the muscle memory, your stance, everything's completely different. I have nothing but faith in Andre Dillard. Everything he's done, busting his ass out there, all the reps, all the extra time I've seen him after practice and stuff? It's different obviously. You don't replace Lane Johnson. He's a one-of-a-kind talent, a one-of-a-kind player. But at the same time, Dillard has more than enough talent. He's more than capable of handling his own out there."

The Eagles went with Vaitai to finish the Patriots game since Dillard hadn't taken any right tackle reps other than "a couple" in training camp and has never played the position.

"In the heat of the game I think Stout (offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland) for sure felt that Big V had more work on the right side," Jason Kelce said. "Andre, he's a tackle by trade and there's a little bit of a difference and a little bit of balance and body control that you have to get used to going on the right side, but he'll be able to get it done. He's a really athletic kid."

Now Dillard has had a full week of work on the right side, and he said the process of transitioning to a new position will continue up until game time as he watches film, works on his technique and talks to his teammates and coaches.

But so far?

"Smooth as can be," he said after practice Friday. "It's obviously going to be a challenge, but I'm up for it. I'm perfectly capable."

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Eagles vs. Seahawks 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

Eagles vs. Seahawks 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

The Eagles (5-5) are hosting the Seahawks (8-2) at the Linc on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know:

12 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
1 p.m.: Eagles vs. Seahawks on FOX
4 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP
6:30 p.m.: Birds Outsiders on NBCSP

The FOX broadcast crew for this game is Kevin Burkhardt (play by play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Pam Oliver (sideline).

Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94WIP.

The Eagles opened up as 2.5-point home favorites against the Seahawks.

The referee for this game is Walt Anderson. Anderson has been the ref for two Eagles games in the Doug Pederson Era: A win over the Giants in November 2018 and the first game under Pederson in 2016, which was a win over Cleveland. Oddly enough, the Eagles had seven penalties for 46 yards in each of those games.

You’ll get to sleep early

This game was initially scheduled to be an 8:20 p.m. start, but the Packers-49ers game was flexed into that spot, so the Eagles and Seahawks got bumped to 1 p.m. That’s good news for anyone who values their sleep going into a new work week, but bad news for out-of-town fans who were relying on a national broadcast.

Russell Wilson is a problem

Wilson was already a Hall of Fame quarterback before this year, but now he’s having the best season of his career. Lamar Jackson is probably the front-runner to be the league’s MVP, but Wilson is right in the mix.

In three career games against the Eagles, Wilson is 3-0 and the Seahawks have outscored the Eagles 74-39 in those games. Wilson has thrown six touchdowns with no interceptions in those three wins.

Things get easier from here

After this game, the Eagles’ schedule gets much easier. Coming off their bye week against the Patriots and Seahawks was a tough task. But check out the rest of their schedule after this:

Week 13: at Miami (2-8)
Week 14: vs. New York Giants (2-8)
Week 15: at Washington (1-9)
Week 16: vs. Dallas (6-4)
Week 17: at New York Giants (2-8)

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