The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New Orleans Saints in Week 14 fair and square, but it cost them dearly. The Eagles secondary especially was pretty much decimated last week. That’s just a peak at the injuries in the NFL as we head into Week 15, with the playoffs looming right around the corner.
NFL Injuries Cause Grief
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has confirmed the safety Rodney McLeod has a torn ACL and cornerback Darius Slay is in concussion protocol. Cornerback Avonte Maddox has some sort of knee injury and will miss some time. That practically wipes out the Eagles first-string secondary.
Coach Pederson and his Eagles still have playoff aspirations; however, they are going to have to get there with their second string defensive secondary made up of Kevon Seymour, K’Von Wallace and Marcus Epps. But Philadelphia is still sitting at 4-8 with three games to go.
Elsewhere in the league, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith went to the locker room with an injured shoulder during the first half of the game against the Cleveland Browns and did not return to the field during the game. Eric Tomlinson was elevated from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement for Monday Night Football.
The Browns had to bring two guys up from the practice squad to fill out their roster. They were wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley and guard Wyatt Teller from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Carolina Panthers have been without the services of their All-Star running back Christian McCaffrey for most of the season. He is at practice and his participation in Sunday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers will be a game-time decision this Saturday.
Panthers wide receiver D J Moore is expected to be off of the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for the game against the Packers.
Carolina will also lose their practice squad placekicker Lirim Hajrullahu due to some issue with his work visa; the Panthers had to wave the Kosovo-born kicker.
San Fran Still Struggling
Deebo Samuel, the talented receiver from the San Francisco 49ers, has once again pulled his hamstring and is likely to have to sit out the rest of this season with it.
In the words of San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan, “We’d have to make the playoffs for him to come back.” Tight end George Kittle is about in the same boat with a broken bone in his foot he suffered early in November. If the Niners make the playoffs, these guys might get a chance to play some more this season.
The Texans’ outstanding young safety Justin Reid is out for the rest of the season due to a hand injury he suffered last Sunday and he will be missed. Reid started 13 games this season and made 83 tackles, two sacks and four passes defensed.
Matthew Stafford, the Detroit Lions quarterback, has a rib injury and his status is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Stafford has been playing with pain and would be the last one to complain, but a rib injury can affect your whole body and throw your timing off to the point that you just have to sit it out until it heals, just ask Drew Brees. The Lions are prepping backup quarterback Chase Daniels in case Stafford can’t go.
Denver Player Losses Mount
The Denver Broncos had the misfortune of losing two good cornerbacks to season ending knee injuries on the same day. Both Duke Dawson and Kevin Toliver are out until next year, according to Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. All-Star linebacker Von Miller has started running again but probably won’t try to play this week against the Buffalo Bills.
The hard-hit Denver team has also lost kicker Brandon McManus who is now on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for the virus.
Quarterback Alex Smith, who has been doing such an outstanding job coming in off the bench for the Washington Football Team, has a calf injury that is being evaluated day-to-day, according to head coach Ron Rivera.