Not So Fast
Sirianni Won't Commit To Roby Return Vs. Chiefs
The Eagles need their slot cornerback situation to improve as they prepare for Monday night’s prime-time matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
The hope is that Bradley Roby, who has missed the past three games with a shoulder injury, is ready to return after getting an extra week to recover from the bye week.
But on Thursday, as the team reconvened at the NovaCare Complex for its first official practice, head coach Nick Sirianni wouldn’t commit to Roby being ready by Monday.
Sirianni said Roby would be a helpful addition to the defense “if he’s available.”
“If he’s available – which we’ll see – that’ll be helpful for our football team,” Sirianni added. “If not he’s just going to continue to work hard to get back on the field to help us going down the stretch.”
Asked if Roby, when healthy, would return to the top slot corner, Sirianni offered another “we’ll see.”
In Roby’s asbsence, several defensive backs – including rookie safety Sydney Brown, undrafted rookie corner Eli Ricks and newcomer safety Kevin Byard – have rotated into a position that’s become exposed against good passing offenses.
“Obviously we have practices to go through to see where everything is,” Sirianni added. “We’ve been happy with what some of our guys have been doing. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Bradley.”
As for replacing tight end Dallas Goedert, who will be out several weeks with a broken arm, Sirianni said the responsibility wouldn’t fall on any one player’s shoulders.
The Eagles have backups Grant Calcaterra, Jack Stoll, and Albert Okwuegbunam to help replace Goedert. They can also lean more on four-wide receiver packages, using Julio Jones and Olamide Zaccheaus, or get the running backs more involved in the pass game.
“It’ll be by committee,” Sirianni said. “We just don’t have another guy like Dallas Goedert sitting around, right? Does a different personnel [package] help you out? Some weeks it will, some weeks it won’t.
“Does a certain player help you out? Some weeks it will, some weeks it won’t. I have a lot of faith in the guys that have to step up in his absence.”
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.