Injuries Piling for the Birds
By Lance Epstein
Since organized team activities (OTAs) kicked off on Tuesday, the Eagles have encountered a rash of injuries. Last year, the Eagles could not avoid key injuries and so far this off-season they are running into the same dilemma.
First, safety Marlin Jackson ruptured his Achilles tendon running a simple non-contact drill. Jackson was penciled in as the starting free safety for the Eagles. He also was expected to play a key role in the team's Dime or Nickel packages. Now, he is probably lost for the entire 2010 season.
The following day starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley pulled up lame and gave Eagles fans a giant scare. Fortunately, he just tweaked his calf. Luckily, Bradley’s injury is considered minor because he is one of the players on defense that the Eagles just cannot afford to lose.
On Tuesday, reports also surfaced that the starting left guard Todd Herremans missed practice due to a sore foot. This is the same foot that he had surgery on last August and caused him to miss the first five games of the season.
After Herremans missed his third straight day of practice on Thursday, the Eagles sent him to Charlotte to visit Dr. Robert Anderson. Anderson is a noted foot specialist and has worked with numerous NFL players.
The Eagles offensive line is already down one starter in center Jamaal Jackson. He is expected to miss the first six games [PUP list] of the regular season due to a torn ACL. If Herremans foot injury nags him throughout the off-season, the Eagles could be forced to start Max Jean-Gilles. In Gilles last two starts against Dallas in week 17 and the wild-card playoff game, he was dominated by the Cowboys' defensive front.
However there is some good news coming from Herremans twitter account.
"Just a checkup," Herremans tweeted. "Making sure everything looks good."
For the Eagles, Herremans is a key player on their offensive line. The club cannot afford to lose him for any amount of time especially with Nick Cole having to pick up the center duties. In his tenure with the Eagles, Herremans has been on of the most consistent offensive lineman.
However, he is extremely valuable because he can plays multiple positions on the line. If Jason Peters or Winston Justice cannot suit up, Herremans has the ability to slide over to both tackle positions and play them at a high level.
Besides Herremans, a new Eagle has come down with an injury. Starting running back LeSean 'Shady' McCoy tweaked his ankle and missed practice today. The injury occurred yesterday at the end of practice and since then he has been receiving treatment.
The training staff says his injury is not a major. Still it is very vital that his ankle fully heals. Ankle injuries for running backs have a way of healing very slowly and can be a nagging type of injury that carries on for several months.
Hopefully, the Eagles are not covering up the severity of the injury because if it is a high ankle sprain then McCoy will need four-to-six weeks to recover. Furthermore, it might take even longer than that to have his ankle feeling a 100 percent.
Even if McCoy misses some time, he should be ready by the start of training camp on July 26. Additionally, his injury is actually beneficial to new Eagle Mike Bell and rookie Charles Scott. Both will get plenty of opportunities to take snaps with the first team offense as McCoy is on the sidelines. This should help them in learning the ins and outs of the offense.
Stewart Bradley missed practice today to rest his tweaked calf muscle. The team is reporting his calf is getting better.
Ellis Hobbs was also given the day-off. This is not a good sign since he has not yet completed a full OTA this off-season. For a guy the Eagles are counting on being the starting right corner, they should and might want to see if he can take the daily rigors that the NFL will dish out on his neck and body.