Eagles

Eagles will be without Lane Johnson vs. Seahawks

Eagles will be without Lane Johnson vs. Seahawks

The Eagles will be without starting right tackle Lane Johnson on Sunday, sources tell NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn

There’s a belief that Johnson could be ready if the Eagles make it to the divisional round. 

But this is a big loss for the Eagles heading into their Wild Card Round matchup against the Seahawks. 

This will be Johnson’s fourth consecutive game missed with a high ankle sprain. While the Eagles listed Johnson as questionable, it wasn’t a good sign on Friday when Johnson missed practice after being limited in the first two days of the week. Ultimately, he hasn’t recovered enough to be a good enough option against Jadeveon Clowney and the Seahawks. 

This means the Eagles will be without their star-studded right side of the offensive line. Brandon Brooks (shoulder) was lost for the season last week. 

So Halapoulivaati Vaitai will make his fourth consecutive start at right tackle and second-year OL Matt Pryor will make his first career NFL start in the playoffs. 

The good news is that the Eagles finished their Week 17 game against the Giants with the combination of Big V and Pryor on the right side and those guys seemed to hold up fine. Pryor did well after he was forced into action and now has had an entire week of preparation. 

Vaitai has been a backup during his career in Philadelphia but has started plenty of games for Johnson and Jason Peters. Heck, Vaitai started in Super Bowl LII. But Pryor has played in just 12 career games. Still, center Jason Kelce said this week that he felt comfortable playing next to Pryor and Vaitai. 

Meanwhile, Zach Ertz (ribs, back) is expected to be checked by doctors today. If he gets cleared he’ll play on Sunday. If not, he won’t. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: Building now vs. the future around Carson Wentz

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Eagle Eye podcast: Building now vs. the future around Carson Wentz

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro dive into plenty of topics, starting with Howie Roseman’s short-term vs. long-term plan to build around Carson Wentz. 

Breaking down the Eagles’ salary cap space. Why trading for Brandin Cooks wouldn’t make sense. The game that showed the Eagles Jalen Mills could play safety. 

Roob hates the new playoff format and plenty more: 

• Building now vs. future around Carson Wentz 
• Breaking down Eagles’ salary cap space 
• Some cap tricks Howie Roseman uses 
• Should Eagles trade for Brandin Cooks? 
• More on Jalen Mills’ position switch 
• And his switch from No. 31 to 21 
• Ronald Darby is heading to Washington 
• Dave’s latest Eagles-only mock changes it up
• Roob hates the new NFL playoff format 
• What the guys are doing to stay sane 

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NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

The NFL has officially expanded its playoff format to 14 teams in time for the 2020 season. 

Starting with this upcoming season, the playoff field will expand from 12 to 14 teams, allowing one more wild-card team from each conference. 

Here are a few of the major points of this new format: 

• The AFC and NFC will each have seven playoff teams, but just the top seed from each conference will have a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

• In wild-card weekend, the other 12 teams will play — the No. 2 seeds will host 7s, the No. 3 seeds will host 6s and the No. 4 seeds will host 5s. 

• For this upcoming season, wild-card weekend will have three games on Saturday, Jan. 9 and three games on Sunday, Jan. 10. 

• One of the additional wild-card games will be on CBS on Jan. 10 at 4:40 p.m. The other will be on NBC on Jan. 10 at 8:15 p.m.

This is the NFL’s first expansion of the playoff format since the 1990 season, when the field went from 10 to 12. 

The Eagles made the playoffs as a division winner with a 9-7 record in 2019 and that would still be an option with this new format. This change simply adds another playoff team in each conference. In the 2019 NFC that would have been the 9-7 Rams. 

If you’re looking for a recent example in Eagles history of how this new format would’ve helped, look back at the 2014 season. The Eagles finished with a 10-6 record in Chip Kelly’s second season but missed the postseason. If this format was around, they would have been the third wild-card team after the 11-win Lions and Cardinals. 

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