Eagles Notes: Peters, Johnson Sidelined Again

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly said Wednesday that one contingency plan, in case Jason Peters is unable to play Sunday, is to place starting right tackle Lane Johnson at left tackle in Peters’ stead.

Johnson (knee, ankle) has maintained that he plans to play against the Saints,  though he took in practice from the sidelines alongside Peters (quad) for the second straight day.

Along with Johnson and Peters, Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Kiko Alonso (knee), and Brandon Bair (groin) were also without helmets and pads Wednesday. Allen Barbre was back practicing after being held out Tuesday, and Byron Maxwell (quad) was seen warming up, but without a helmet.
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Injuries Hit Eagles’ Offensive Line


An already struggling offensive line is now dealing with a rash of injuries.

Tackles Jason Peters (quad) and Lane Johnson (knee, ankle) were both sidelined as preparations for the Saints began Tuesday. Joining them on the sideline was Allen Barbre, who played the entire game against Washington but apparently got banged up as well.

This unit is already down Andrew Gardner for the season and cannot afford any more losses; that’s especially true when it comes to their tackles. Johnson is dealing with an MCL and ankle sprain but could be available this weekend. Peters has left each of the team’s games at some point this season and was only able to play six snaps against Washington.

Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Byron Maxwell (quad) and Brandon Bair (groin) all sat out as well. Billy Davis sounded confident about having Maxwell, Cedric Thornton (hand) and Taylor Hart (shoulder) this week. He does not think Bair will be available, and labeled Kendricks as day-to-to-day.

Eagles-Jets, The Day After

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Calls for Chip Kelly to shake things up were coming from both outside and within.

After a pair of brutal rushing performances against Atlanta and Dallas in which the Eagles mustered a combined 70 yards on the ground (2.1 average), further attention was given to the theory that Kelly’s offense had become too predictable. Some players did not exactly go out of their way to shoot that notion down.

“Yeah, I think so,” said Lane Johnson following the Dallas loss, when asked if he believed the Cowboys had a feel for their tendencies. “I think moving forward we have to mix it up a little bit, create some more variety of plays and try to get some confusion for the defense.”

While far from dominant, the run game found some success against a formidable Jets defense Sunday at MetLife Stadium — particularly in the first half. Ryan Mathews went for over 100 yards and the Eagles finished with 123 rush yards overall, nearly doubling their output from the first two weeks. Kelly said afterwards that they “went back to basics” this week to get things going, but that’s not the whole story. There weren’t any wholesale changes, but Kelly got more creative with his looks and made some tweaks that helped breathe a little life into the ground game.

“To me, there are a lot of similar plays and what-not but formation-wise we changed it up quite a bit more,” Jason Kelce acknowledged, “and that presents a different look to a defense and changes up some of their roles and responsibilities.” Read more »

All-22: Why the Eagles Abandoned the Run

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Their success was essentially a foregone conclusion. Yes, they lost a two-time Pro Bowler and a second starter, but the Eagles’ offensive line still had a lot of talent. Their new pair of guards transitioned smoothly in the preseason, so expectations for the unit were relatively high.

Then Monday night happened.

The Eagles scored only three points in the first half, largely because the offensive line failed to open up holes in the running game. Their ineffectiveness led to not only three-and-outs, but drives in which the Eagles didn’t gain a single yard (and one that resulted in a loss of eight yards). Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: O-Line Training Camp Preview

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Leading up to training camp on August 2, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We’ve covered the running backs and wide receivers so far. Today, we’ll take a look at the offensive line.

The pressing question: Are the Eagles OK at the guard spots?

The Birds are in a strange situation with their offensive line. On one hand, it’s conceivable that they’ll finish the season with three Pro Bowlers up front in Jason PetersJason Kelce and Lane Johnson. Peters and Kelce have already proven themselves, and Johnson has a chance to take the next step in his development.

On the other hand, even if those three guys play well, this could be a mediocre unit overall because of who will be lining up at the two guard spots. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We Learned This Spring

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Given that the Eagles’ spring program wrapped up last week with the mandatory minicamp, now seems like a good time to take stock of what we’ve learned the past two months.

Below are three items worth taking a closer look at.

1. A lot is riding on Walter Thurmond.

The 27 year old made the transition from corner to safety in the spring and is the clear frontrunner to start alongside Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles need their safeties to cover man to man against tight ends and slot receivers; play center field in single-high looks; and provide run support. Thurmond has played as a nickel, so he has the first part down. It’s the other two areas where he’ll have to prove himself. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: Allen Barbre Steps In

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Allen Barbre is entering his eighth NFL season, and to this point only has eight NFL starts under his belt.

Seven of those came in 2009 at right tackle when he was with the Packers. The other was last year in the season opener against Jacksonville — also at right tackle — in place of the suspended Lane Johnson.

Given how high this coaching staff appears to be on Barbre, it seems odd that he hasn’t gotten more work to this point in his career. What gives? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The State Of the O-Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ offensive line situation took a hit Thursday evening as the team released Pro Bowl left guard Evan Mathis.

The move is puzzling because the team had all the leverage here. Mathis was under contract, and as Tim reported, he was planning on showing up to mandatory minicamp next week. Would he have been happy? Maybe not. But Mathis was in the exact same situation last year. He still showed up, played his butt off and was consistent and dependable once again.

Why then cut ties with him when there are no obvious replacements on the roster? Read more »

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