Eagles

How injured Eagles are coping with missing Super Bowl

How injured Eagles are coping with missing Super Bowl

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Every night before Chris Maragos falls asleep, he lies in his bed and thinks about running onto the football field with his teammates in Super Bowl LII. 

He won't get to do that on Sunday. 

His season as a player ended way back on Oct. 12, when he suffered a knee injury in Carolina. But he's continued to be a part of the team. He's continued to be a leader and a captain. 

And he's not the only one. 

"Honestly, I'd like to say that it's not pretty difficult, but I'd be lying if I said it was," Maragos said. "Obviously, it's disappointing not playing, but when I came to this organization I wanted to do anything I could to help this team win. Right now, my role is to help these guys from a mentorship role, from an experience role. That's my way of contributing. 

"I think as you come in and you have special seasons like this, everyone has to lay aside their pride, everyone has to lay aside their own goals and aspirations for the team."

In addition to Maragos, the Eagles have also lost Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks, Darren Sproles, Caleb Sturgis, and, of course, Carson Wentz. Every single one of those injured players is in Minnesota for Super Bowl week and they'll be watching as their teammates try to take down the Patriots on Sunday. 

They'll be cheering, they'll be offering advice, they'll be doing the same type of supportive things they've been doing all season. But this is the big game and they won't get to play. 

What will it be like to watch the Super Bowl? 

"Tough, but amazing," Hicks said. "These guys deserve everything. They have worked as hard as any team and are as close as any team I've seen. I'm excited, man. I know they're prepared. They're going to go out there, play loose and play great."

Pretty much every key injured player said the same thing this week. Of course it's going to hurt like hell to miss out on playing in what would have been one of the biggest games of their lives. That's natural. 

"As humans, we all want to be the competitors that we are and be out there on the field," Wentz said. "Every time the offense comes on the field on Sunday, it's tough. It hits me a little bit. But then I'm in it. I love these guys and I'm a part of this team as much as anybody else. I get involved in the game and that kind of all goes away. Without a doubt, as humans, it just feels ... it's tough. It's tough to not be out there, but I love watching these guys and I couldn't be happier." 

All of the injured players have been incredibly selfless all season. They've helped their teammates with whatever they possibly could. They're in film rooms, they're on the phone offering advice, sometimes they watch practice. 

They've been around for the whole ride, even when they weren't able to play anymore. 

"We all get together," Peters said. "Wentz goes with the quarterbacks and Hicks has the linebackers and we just support everybody. Maragos got the special teams. Sproles got the running backs. And I take care of the offensive line. We have support with every group."

The injured players said it's been helpful to have other key guys in the same position. They're able to commiserate and lean on each other when the tougher times come. 

Hicks and Maragos have talked about it before when they have lunch together in the NovaCare Complex while everyone else is off working out and practicing. It would be a lot harder if they weren't together. 

And the season would be a lot harder on everyone if these key leaders didn't stay involved. Lucky for the Eagles, they did.  

"It's been difficult all year," Hicks said. "Can't sugarcoat it. It's been tough. But you roll with it and you learn from it and you try to find different ways to help. Your role changes and it is what it is. Right now my role is having a different perspective and sharing it. That's part of the leadership role. You go down but you're still a leader."

What criticism does Jim Schwartz always hears from fans?

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What criticism does Jim Schwartz always hears from fans?

A couple takeaways from Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s chat with the media Tuesday afternoon:

What Schwartz hears from fans

Schwartz is notorious for hating to blitz. In his perfect world, the front four would generate enough pass pressure on a regular basis that he’d rarely have to blitz. But that does give him the element of surprise. When the Eagles do blitz, it can really catch an offense off-guard, especially when he does it in a situation where he rarely calls a blitz.

Eagles fans, on the other hand, love blitzing, and Schwartz said he hears from fans all the times that he should blitz more:

“Every time I step on to the field or come out of the tunnel, all I hear is, ‘Schwartz, you've got to blitz every play, you've got to bring it every play.’ And I understand, they mean you have to pressure the quarterback, which we're all for, but there is some risk inherent to that."

Don't blame Mills

The combination of a Ronald Darby blitz not getting home and Malcolm Jenkins inexplicably vacating the middle of the field left Mills alone with DeSean Jackson on the first play of the Tampa loss Sunday, and that’s a mismatch for any cornerback. 

Schwartz made it clear it’s not fair to blame Mills for D-Jack’s 75-yard touchdown. The play broke down on a couple levels, and there aren’t many cornerbacks who can cover Jackson without any help. 

“It's very rare that it's one person's fault when you've got 11 guys trying to do a job, and I think that that play is a good example of that,” Schwartz said.

Mills has taken an unfair beating from Eagles fans this week. He’s 24 years old. He was a starting cornerback for a Super Bowl champion. He’s a really good player. And he’s going to keep getting better. 

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Eagles setting up workout with Jeremy Maclin

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Eagles setting up workout with Jeremy Maclin

The Eagles already brought in Jordan Matthews for a workout Tuesday and it looks like they’re not done looking at receivers who know this offense. 

Now, the Eagles are setting up a workout with Jeremy Maclin, a source close to Maclin told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. 

But the source told Clark the workout might need to be next week because Maclin’s leg is hurting. That might help the Eagles in the coming weeks, but it won’t help them Sunday against the Colts. 

Earlier this month, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Maclin has been nursing a hamstring injury. 

Maclin, 30, obviously has familiarity with the Eagles’ offense — at least the basics — after his years in Philadelphia and Kansas City. With just three healthy receivers on their roster, the Eagles are clearly in search of a quick fix. 

Last season, Maclin played in 12 games (12 starts) for the Ravens. He caught 40 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns. He spent the previous two years in Kansas City with Andy Reid. He played just 12 games in 2016 too because of a torn groin. He was cut that June. 

Maclin’s best NFL seasons came in 2014 and 2015, his last year in Philly and his first year in Kansas City. 

In 2014, Maclin caught 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. That earned him a five-year deal in Kansas City. In his first season there, he caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns.  

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