Inside The Birds: Depth Tested Early At Crucial Positions
The Eagles have been without three of their projected starting five offensive linemen from earlier this offseason for much of camp.
Without Brandon Brooks, Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson, the Eagles have given plenty of reps lately to Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor and rookie Jack Driscoll, prompting the question:
How will this offensive look in less than two weeks when the Eagles’ season opens against the Washington Football Team?
Also, who’s lining up opposite DeSean Jackson at the “X” receiver position now that first-round pick Jalen Reagor is out for a few weeks with a shoulder injury?
“Their depth, which looked good at the start … it is being stretched very thin,” said Adam Caplan.
“Dillard was going to be the left tackle,” Caplan later added. “That was their plan. That what they were gong to do. Remember, until Brandon Brooks got hurt, I know they were talking to Peters, but there was no offer. Their depth right now, which looked really good to start training camp, is paper thin on the offensive line.”
And also at receiver and punt returner, where Geoff Mosher reported that Reagor was expected to be the starter at each position.
Second-year pro J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has played well in camp after a disastrous rookie year and rookie fifth-rounder John Hightower has raised eyebrows with his field-stretching throughout camp.
But are their impressions real or just the annual training-camp mirage seen by so many promising prospects in the past?
“In the second week [Hightower] just started taking off and he’s just been the man,” Caplan said. “You’ve got to take it for what it is and you just go by what you see and what you’re told. He’s on the roster. Here’s the next question: A) Is he dressing each week? B) How much playing time is gonna get?”
More from the latest ITB:
On RB Miles Sanders’ injury
Mosher: “We’ve said for a while he’s gonna be out with a lower-body injury and it’s not that bad. What I’m told was it’s a hamstring injury that he’s got. It’s not the least mild one, but also not the most severe.”
Caplan: “I’m told he’s got a hamstring strain. I noticed he was doing a shadow drill [Sunday], which is when you’re mimicking what you’re going to be doing … just doing shadow pass blocking. Well guess what? If he’s got a bad injury, he ain’t doing that.”
On RG Jason Peters’ camp
Caplan: “It’s my understanding that his practice Sunday, he was off-the-hook phenomenal at right guard. I have no idea if this situation is bothering him or he’s pissed off but I can just tell you – his movement is great, he was mauling people up front.”
On WR Alshon Jeffery’s return
Caplan: “Barring a setback or surprise he will be able to play in the first month if the season. I didn’t say he’s going to play Week 1. The typical full repair of the Lis franc, which is mid-foot, is 9-12 months. So he’s obviously fairly close. It’s just matter of how close.”
On DE Genard Avery’s injury
Caplan: “I’m told it’s not just a bone bruise, but he also has a slightly sprained knee. They’re saying day to day. I kind of laugh at these timelines teams give, because they don’t have to give one. I’d be shocked if he’s ready for Week 1.”
On rookie WR Jalen Reagor’s injury
Mosher: “The early result was that it was a a slight tear in the labrum. It’s not huge. It didn’t require surgery, that’s the most inoprtant thing. It’s going to heal as long as he does the right things, but it’s probably a four-week injury, and that means he’s not going to be ready for the season opener.”
–– Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher are co-hosts of the Inside The Birds podcast, the leading podcast in Eagles intel.
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