ATLANTA — The Eagles had so many injuries on Sunday night that the guy in charge of raising the blue medical tent on the sideline pulled out his shoulder.
OK, that didn’t happen. But you’d understand if it did.
It was almost hard to keep track of all the casualties that were piling up during the Eagles’ 24-20 loss to the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. They began during pregame warmups and never really stopped. Heck, most players had trouble keeping up.
I think you figure it out as you go,” Jason Kelce said. “Especially when you’re not seeing guys in the huddle over and over again. Games like this are going to happen. You have to try to overcome. The fact is, the last few years, we’ve handled injuries really, really well around here. It’s the way this game goes. Whoever’s in the huddle is in the huddle and you try to put guys in the best situation as possible and execute.
That was a common theme from the Eagles’ locker room after the heartbreaking loss: No excuses, but … this was pretty excessive.
Still, even with all the injuries, the Eagles should have won the game. They gave up a touchdown on fourth down. They missed multiple chances on the ensuing drive. And that was well after they got off to another abysmal start. The Eagles know they lost because of more than a few injured players.
“Yeah, it was awesome that we hung in there, but we still lost the game,” Kelce said, “still gotta make improvements and continue to get better.”
The list of injured players will make for an intriguing few days looking at the roster, but on Sunday night it was just about adjusting on the fly. That wasn’t easy.
“I mean, you always have a plan for maybe one guy (getting injured),” head coach Doug Pederson said. “Obviously, if one guy goes down you can maybe shift some things, but when two top receivers and a top tight end go down, it’s difficult. Now, you’re really having to put guys in positions where they haven’t gotten those reps during the week.”
At one point, the Eagles were down to two healthy receivers: Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and one healthy tight end: Zach Ertz.
Here’s a list of all the injured players who did not return on Sunday night, including Dallas Goedert, who hurt his calf during warmups:
Tim Jernigan (foot)
DeSean Jackson (groin)
Alshon Jeffery (calf)
Dallas Goedert (calf)
Corey Clement (shoulder)
And here’s the list of players who were checked for concussions but were allowed to return:
After the game, Clement had his shoulder in a sling and Jernigan left the locker room with a walking boot on his left foot. Jernigan’s injury could be a hard one to take at a position where the Eagles were supposed to have depth and now suddenly don’t.
But from a schematic standpoint, losing three and then, at one point, four skill players made things really difficult. The Eagles were down to their bottom two receivers playing every snap.
“It’s tough, but by no means are we going to make excuses,” Wentz said. “We always talk about having the next man up but some of the stuff tonight you just can’t make up. I have never seen guy after guy go down like that so early in the ball game, but the guys stepped up. The guys were resilient. We came up a little short today, but I am proud of the way the guys fought.”
The Eagles did fight, but they didn’t win. Instead of talking about how they overcame a laundry list of injuries, we’re talking about how they came up short. No moral victories here and they know it.
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