Sidney Jones

Studs, duds, turning point and more from Eagles-Patriots preseason game

Studs, duds, turning point and more from Eagles-Patriots preseason game


FOXBORO, Mass. — It wasn’t a good night for Nick Foles.

Then he got hurt.

The Eagles’ quarterback, in his first action of this preseason, had his struggles early on Thursday night, and then thanks to an injury, never got to get things on track as the Eagles fell to the Patriots, 37-20, in a Super Bowl LII rematch.

Early in the second quarter, Adrian Clayborn hit Foles on his throwing arm on a strip sack. While the Patriots were returning the fumble for a touchdown, Foles was clutching at his arm in some pain.

After getting checked out in a pop-up tent on the sideline, the Eagles said Foles suffered a shoulder strain. He didn’t return to the game, but was able to stay on the sideline. That seemed like a good sign.

Foles completed just 3 of 9 passes for 44 yards and was sacked a few times. It wasn’t just Foles; the entire first-team offense (and second-team offense) struggled to get going.

Offensive struggles
Like we said, the offense really struggled to get going. Some of that was pass protection. Some of that is probably because of a lack of playmakers. Corey Clement, Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery weren’t out there tonight. The offense is going to be different without those guys.

Suds dropping dimes
Nate Sudfeld had a great game in relief of Foles. He was making it rain all night (see 10 observations). His throw to Shelton Gibson on the early touchdown was perfect. He threw a great 28-yarder to Dallas Goedert in the first half.

In the second half, Suds threw a perfect fade to Goedert in the end zone but it was batted away. He came back on the next play with another perfect pass, this time to Richard Rodgers. He later threw another perfect pass to Gibson for a 57-yard gain. He threw another perfect touchdown pass to Rashard Davis.

Gibson flashes
For the second straight game, Gibson caught a touchdown pass. He didn’t catch a long bomb for a TD like he did last week, but he ran a great route in the red zone. The touchdown came after he got injured earlier in the same series. After going to the sideline to get checked out, Gibson returned and on his first play back, caught a TD. He also had a 57-yarder in the second half, showing off that speed.

And he also flashed on special teams.

He’s still learning the position with the new kickoff rules, but Gibson looks pretty good as a kick returner. He took one back 46 yards and was really close to turning the corner and possibly taking it all the way back. Gibson had four kick returns for 121 yards (30.3 per return).

Defense rebounds
The Eagles’ first-team defense didn’t get off to a good start against some guy named Tom Brady. Brady completed all five of his passes on the first drive of the game to get the Patriots in the end zone on eight plays over 63 yards.

From there, though, the Eagles’ first-team defense settled in some.

But after most of the Eagles’ starters were out, Brady moved the ball down the field easily on a last touchdown drive of the first half to put the Patriots up 27-7. Brady played the entire first half, throwing for 172 yards and two TD passes.

Catching issues
Three drops for Matt Jones. He’s trying to make the team, but that won’t help. He did make a few grabs too.

Faked out
Sidney Jones had good moments tonight, but he had a really bad one too. Cordarrelle Patterson caught a ball right in front of him, put his left foot in the dirt and cut back, leaving Jones in his dust. Patterson easily scored a touchdown. It was an ugly play from the Eagles’ talented young corner.

New penalties
The Eagles got called for three lowering-the-helmet calls. Rodney McLeod, Nigel Bradham and Jeremy Reaves got called for them.

Depth chart look
Jones got the start as the Eagles’ nickel, but rotated with Avonte Maddox with that first team. Kamu Grugier-Hill was the first-team WILL. Haloti Ngata started at DT next to Fletcher Cox; previously we have seen Destiny Vaeao there.

Missing in action
The following players didn’t play: Carson Wentz, Jalen Mills Agholor, Clement, Mack Hollins, Josh Adams, Donnel Pumphrey, Chandon Sullivan, Asantay Brown and Markus Wheaton.

Agholor and Clement are dealing with lower-body injuries. Pederson has said the team is resting them and getting them ready for Week 1.

Mills left practice early on Tuesday with an unknown injury. Rasul Douglas started in his place.

WR Bryce Treggs (hamstring), TE Rodgers (knee), S Stephen Roberts (ankle), OT Taylor Hart (cramping), WR Kamar Aiken (hamstring) left the game early. TE Josh Perkins left to be evaluated for a concussion.

Up next
The Eagles are on the road next week for their third preseason game. They’ll play the Browns in Cleveland next Thursday, which means we might see them on HBO’s "Hard Knocks." More importantly, the third preseason game is known as the dress rehearsal. That’s when we’ll likely see the starters play deeper into the game. 

More on the Eagles

Eagles Injury Update: Nick Foles headlines group that returns to practice

NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles Injury Update: Nick Foles headlines group that returns to practice

Updated: 12:35 p.m.

After missing a few days with muscle spasms in his neck, Nick Foles was back at practice this morning as a full participant. 

And he was joined by several other Eagles too. 

Unfortunately, rookie tight end Dallas Goedert suffered an apparent injury and left practice early. 

Foles missed three practices and Thursday’s game with muscle spasms in his trap/neck area but told everyone to calm down. He was right; must not have been a big deal. 

Mike Wallace (tendinitis) and Matt Jones also returned to practice this morning. Both missed the game on Thursday. If they can stay healthy, we should get to see them this coming Thursday in New England. 

Sidney Jones, who suffered a sprained ankle against the Steelers, was back at practice this morning. He said after the game that the injury wasn’t serious. He wasn't participating in team drills. 

Nelson Agholor, Markus Wheaton and Donnel Pumphrey missed practice. All three did not play in the game Thursday. Mack Hollins was at practice but wasn't participating. Corey Clement was not at practice after he played well in the preseason opener. 

We got a little update from Doug Pederson about Alshon Jeffery today. Jeffery remains on the PUP but is in the “strength phase” of his rehab. Pederson said Jeffery is doing well. 

More on the Eagles

Sidney Jones 'good' after injury scare in preseason game

Sidney Jones 'good' after injury scare in preseason game

It was as silent as Lincoln Financial Field got all night. 

Well, aside from the deep collective inhale from nearly 70,000 fans who couldn’t help but hold their breath. With just under seven minutes to go in the second quarter of Thursday night’s preseason game, Sidney Jones tried to pop up to his feet after taking on some friendly fire, stood for a moment, and then took a knee.

Uh oh. 

“I’m good. I knew I was good,” Jones said by his locker after the game. “I know I scared everybody. A teammate rolled up on me, but I knew I was fine.” 


Jones said he just suffered a lower left ankle sprain when Nate Gerry collided with him. But that’s the same leg that has Jones' surgically repaired Achilles tendon, so it was natural for everyone to gasp at the sign of him grabbing that area.

Jones, 22, was eventually able to walk to the sideline on his own power before getting checked out on the trainer’s table. He got his ankle re-taped and tested it out by jogging on the sideline. He didn’t get back in the game, but Jones said that was simply the plan. 

As he has been at training camp all summer, Jones was the Eagles’ first-string nickel cornerback for the preseason opener, but that’s the position he then played with the second team too. Way back in the spring, the Eagles began playing Jones at the NCB, so he’s had a while to become familiar with it. But he admitted from the beginning of training camp to now, there’s “a pretty big difference.” 

If nothing else, all this time playing inside can only make him a more well-rounded and more versatile player. 

Jones, the 43rd overall pick last year, would have been a first-rounder had it not been for that Achilles tear at his pro day. So now that he’s completely healed, there are understandably high expectations for Jones in Year 2. 

He didn’t get tested much against the Steelers. But he did make a special teams tackle to start the game on the opening kickoff and he had three combined tackles on defense. He didn’t have to make any plays in the air, but he looked willing to help on the ground. 

“I thought while he was in there, he made some plays,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “He was doing a really nice job.”

Jones did draw a penalty thanks to the new helmet-tackling rule in the second quarter shortly before his injury (see breakdown). Rasul Douglas was holding up Damoun Patterson, when Jones came through with a lowered helmet that drew a flag. 

Instead of a fourth down, the Steelers took a 15-yard penalty and went on to score a touchdown on the drive. 

Jones said there wasn’t much clarity for him on the rule, but he isn’t worried about it. He’s going to keep playing football the way he has his whole career. 

“My head is connected to my shoulders, so it’s hard,” Jones said.  

Oh, like the song. 

“Yeah,” Jones said with a smirk. “Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.” 

Knees and toes.

And an ankle sprain. That doesn’t seem all that serious. Exhale. 

More on the Eagles