Eagles Wake-Up Call: Why Jenkins Is Being Used At DE

Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins.The Eagles have a couple weeks before they have to trim their roster down to 53 players.

As we’ve discussed at length here on Birds 24/7, when that deadline arrives, Andy Reid and company will have difficult decisions to make on their defensive line.

One player whose role could go a long way in determining who stays and who goes is Cullen Jenkins. The Birds signed Jenkins last summer, and he immediately provided the push up the middle they were looking for, notching 5.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hurries.

But this summer, Jenkins is getting plenty of looks outside at defensive end, mostly in place of Babin, who is recovering from a left calf strain.

“He gives you a little bit in the run game,” Reid said. “Just a big body, and he is athletic enough where he can still pass rush from out there. He just gives you another big body, a 300-pound guy out there that can move like he does.”

When I put out my most recent 53-man roster, I had the Eagles keeping six defensive ends, including Darryl Tapp. My reasoning was simple: With pass-rushing specialists like Jason Babin and Phillip Hunt, Tapp provides the Eagles with a more well-rounded defensive end, who can spell Cole effectively and not be a liability in the run game.

However, it looks like the Eagles view Jenkins as someone who can fill that role. If the coaches like what they see out of Jenkins at defensive end, Tapp very well could become more expendable.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Michael Vick and Brent Celek chimed in on what’s gone wrong with Kevin Kolb. And Kolb fired back at Raiders DT Tommy Kelly, who said the QB was playing scared.

Nnamdi Asomugha explained why it’s important for him to play Monday night, and Reid detailed his plans for the starters vs. the Patriots.

Brandon Boykin and Mychal Kendricks will be tested against New England.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

The Giants’ defense abused Mark Sanchez and the Jets in a 26-3 victory. Eli Manning went 7-for-14 for 62 yards. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw left the game with a hand injury, but X-Rays were negative, according to ESPN New York.

“I had a cyst on it before,” Bradshaw said. “It’s nothing serious. It’s just a precaution.”

“I’ve had it for a while,” he added. “We didn’t know what to do with it. It’s still there and then on one of the runs I hit it on someone’s helmet and it just popped. There was a little pain in it. It feels good. We’re just being precautious about it.”

Meanwhile, Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo injured the same pectoral muscle he tore last season, according to Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan. The extent of the injury is unknown. Orakpo had nine sacks and three forced fumbles last season.

And finally, Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr, who the team signed this offseason as a free agent, had a pair of interceptions against the Chargers.

COMING UP

The Eagles travel to Massachusetts today in advance of Monday night’s game against the Patriots.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

  • Campos

    Jenkins , Patterson (Landri), Cox , Cole would be a great DL against the run in a 3-1, 4-1 situation