Updated: 4:11 p.m.
Jalen Mills, who hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury in the Eagles’ game against the Jaguars in London, is finished for the season.
The Eagles on Saturday announced that Mills has been placed on injured reserve, formally ending his season. The team promoted defensive tackle Bruce Hector to the active roster.
The Inquirer's Zach Berman was first to report that the Eagles were likely to place Mills on IR.
Mills becomes the third starting defensive back to suffer a season-ending injury, joining safety Rodney McLeod, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Colts, and cornerback Ronald Darby, who hurt his knee in the first Cowboys game.
Defensive backs Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox have also missed significant time with injuries, and Rasul Douglas and Corey Graham have missed some time as well.
Because of injuries in the secondary, the Eagles have been forced to use 14 different defensive backs this year, 13 of whom have started at least one game.
The Eagles are expected to get Maddox back for their first-place showdown against the Cowboys on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.
As for Mills, the news is not a surprise considering the season is over in 22 days, and reporters saw Mills walking with a boot on his injured foot after the Eagles’ game against the Redskins on Monday night.
Doug Pederson has generally referred to Mills' injury as "week-to-week," and the Eagles kept him on the 53-man roster in hopes he would be able to return for a possible December playoff run.
Mills was a key starter on the Super Bowl-championship team last year, with three interceptions, including a touchdown.
He’s played in 42 games and started 25 in three seasons and doesn’t turn 25 until the spring. Mills was initially a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2016. He’s the Eagles’ first cornerback to start that many games before his 25th birthday since Lito Sheppard from 2002 through 2005.
Although he’s often been a favorite whipping boy of Eagles fans, Mills has been a mostly solid cornerback who has the ability to shrug off big plays against him and not let it carry over, and he’s consistently graded as one of the NFL’s best corners in the red zone.
The Eagles are 27-15 over the last three years when Mills is in uniform and 21-7 when he starts.
Mills is signed for one more year under his initial rookie contract and due to earn $720,000 next year on the final year of a four-year, $2,416,856 deal.
With Darby and Mills out and Jones temporarily on the shelf, the Eagles have used an assortment of starting cornerbacks including Douglas, when he was healthy, plus mid-season pickups or practice squad promotions Cre’Von LeBlanc, De’Vante Bausby and Chandon Sullivan.
Against Dallas on Sunday, Jones and Douglas are expected to start at outside cornerback with Avonte Maddox either at slot corner or safety. If he starts in the slot, Corey Graham would start opposite Malcolm Jenkins at safety, and if he starts at safety, LeBlanc would likely get the nod in the slot.
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