Eagles Droppings 9/13: Weaver, Jackson Injuries Confirmed, Eagles Workout Fullbacks, Reid Defends Himself and Kolb's The Guy
By Lance Epstein
Weaver, Jackson Gone For the Season:
Losing the contest to the Green Bay Packers hurts, but nothing stung more than the injury bug. In the first half of the contest, the Eagles saw center Jamaal Jackson, fullback Leonard Weaver, middle linebacker Stewart Bradley and quarterback Kevin Kolb go down with serious injuries.
While Kolb and Bradley should return to the field sometime this season, Jackson and Weavers' seasons are done. On Monday, both players had MRIs that revealed season ending injuries that will require surgery.
For Jackson, he suffered a torn triceps tendon. Jackson was playing in his first game since tearing his ACL in week 16 of the 2009 season. Now the Eagles will turn to backup Mike McGlynn to handle the center duties. He took most of the snaps and reps during the preseason, so he should be ready to go.
As for Weaver, head coach Andy Reid gave some new information on his injury and it was not good. Reid said that his torn ACL is "very severe." Makes fans wonder if he will be back for the start of next season or if he ever play again.
"I don't think I've ever felt anything like that," said Weaver when the injury occurred. "It looked pretty nasty, especially at the end part, where it kind of looked like it bent all the way back. All I remember thinking about is the pain, how awful it felt going down to the ground.
"We'll see how things go from here. We really don't know what's going on right now."
His loss really hurts the Eagles offense in many facets. First, he is a weapon out of the backfield as a receiver. Moreover, he allows the Eagles to keep running back LeSean McCoy's carries down, so he is fresh at the end of the year.
More importantly, he is the best back on the roster at pass blocking for the quarterback. He understands blitz pickup, which is something McCoy, Mike Bell and Eldra Buckley struggle with on a consistent basis.
As for other Eagles who are injured: DE Antwan Barnes suffered a wrist sprain; DT Brodrick Bunkley and G Todd Herreman have ankle sprains, LT Jason Peters has a knee sprain, RB Mike Bell has a toe strain and Trevor Laws sustain an oblique strain.
Eagles Workout Two Fullbacks:
The day after losing their All-Pro fullback Leonard Weaver, the Eagles were very busy trying to find his replacement. As Weaver met the media, fullbacks Owen Schmidt and Jason Davis worked out for the Eagles.
Schmitt, 25, was a 2008 fifth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks. Over the past two seasons, Schmitt has played in 30 games for the Seahawks. Of course, he did not get the carries like Weaver, but he did manage to compile five carries for 21 yards and 12 receptions for 50 yards in that span.
An interesting side note is the drafting and development of Schmitt was a major reason that Weaver was let go by the Seahawks after the 2008-09 season.
However, the main reason the Eagles are interested in him is because he knows the west coast offense due to his time in Seattle (run a version of the west coast offense). Since he knows the basics of the offense, he could play immediately and not have to sit out and learn an entirely new system. Also, the last time the Eagles got a fullback from Seattle it turned out to be a great signing in Weaver.
The other fullback that was in Philadelphia on Monday for a workout was former Jets and HBO's "Hard Knocks" star Jason Davis. Back in 2006, the Eagles signed Davis as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Illinois. Unfortunately, Davis blew out his knee in the very first preseason game and was put on injured reserve.
The following 2007 season, he was signed to the Eagles practice squad. Eventually, he got his chance to play with the Chicago Bears. After being released by the Raiders earlier in the 2008 season, the Bears signed him to be their starting fullback. In five games he had 1 carry for zero yards and one reception for 12 yards.
During the 2009 season, the New York Jets claimed him off waivers from the Bears. Nevertheless he did not see the field since he was behind legendary fullback Tony Richardson.
This season, the Jets released him. Not only did he get released, he gave Jets GM Mike Tannebaum some nice parting shots about how he was going to come back to haunt the Jets. Davis will not get the pleasure of playing the Jets this year if he signs with the Eagles, but he can be a starter. He knows the offense by being with the club for two years, so he might be the early favorite to sign with the team.
Reid Defends His Decision To Send Bradley, Kolb Back Out:
On Monday, Reid was adamant about doing the right thing and his handling of the injuries to Stewart Bradley and Kevin Kolb. Both players suffered concussions in the second quarter of the loss to the Green Bay Packers, but managed to return to the field and play.
Reid continues to reiterate that his head athletic trainer said it was OK for them to return after multiple tests.
“I’ve got full confidence in head trainer Rick Burkholder. We stuck to the criteria there and then followed up on it." Reid said. "As we look at this, that’s the most important thing. We didn’t just stick them out there without having to follow the protocol, but we also made sure that we stayed on top of it when they came back off the field.”
This is a particularly big issue for the NFL since they have been looking out for the safety of their players when it comes to concussions and other head injuries. Last December, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell set guidelines about players suffering a concussion. One of the rules is that any play that sustains a concussion is not allowed to play again on the same day. Clearly, Reid and Burkholder missed the memo.
Another key part of the guidelines is the description of what a concussion looks like. The rule says, “confusion as evidenced by disorientation to person, time or place; inability to respond appropriately to questions; or inability to remember assignments or plays.”
This was clearly the case with Bradley as he got up after a vicious collision with Ernie Sims' leg and then fell back to the ground after stumbling around.
However, it did not stop Reid from sending out the most important player on his defense. Yet, Reid again claims the Eagles went through the protocol and Bradley seemed ready to go.
“I will tell you that when he came off the field and went thru the protocol, the testing, I think he was clear minded, was able to pass,” Reid said.
Still, Reid should expect to hear from Goodell and the NFLPA about the potential danger he put his players in and his actions. As for now, Reid has not talked to Goodell or the NFLPA nor has not received a fine.
As for Kolb and Bradley, team doctors examined them on Monday morning. They will again be examined on Wednesday and Friday. Doctor William Welch must clear both players in order for them to suit up against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Kolb Still Reid's No. 1 QB:
Besides the concussion-gate, Reid also talked about the QB controversy that has arisen since backup QB Michael Vick electrified the Eagles offense. While Vick looked vintage on Sunday, Reid is standing by his first-year quarterback.
"I don't want to slight Michael Vick one bit because I'm very proud of the things that he did in there," said Reid about Vick's first extensive play since 2006. "He did a heckuva job and he did a lot of it with his feet. He had over 100 yards rushing the football. He was able to get away from some of the pressure and make things happen. He's come a long way from where he was when he first got here. Again, Kevin's the guy.
"Let me state it again ... Kevin Kolb is the No. 1 quarterback."
Even though Reid is protecting his young quarterback and letting the franchise see what it has in Kolb, the fans will not be as patient. Especially when a mediocre Donovan McNabb led the Washington Redskins to a victory over the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys.
Additionally, how long will Reid stick with a quarterback that appears to make the same mistakes over and over again? The problems with Kolb have never change. He tends to throw off his backfoot, he looks down only one receiver, he is not great at reading disguised coverages, he doesn't posses a great arm and constantly makes poor decisions with the football. All of those were on display yesterday against the Packers.
Vick might not be the long-term solution for the Eagles at quarterback, but if Kolb doesn't improve drastically by the end of the season then could be the next Bobby Hoying. Furthermore, the fans might run Reid, Howie Roseman and Joe Banner out of town for sending McNabb to Washington.
This is the fourth year in the system for Kolb, if he is still playing poorly by the end of the season, then the Eagles could be looking at a quarterback in round one.