Eagles-Packers Injury Report: Ryan Mathews Ruled Out
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson ruled out two players in advance of Philadelphia’s Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers: Ryan Mathews and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. All other players are expected to play.
Mathews, the Eagles’ leading rusher, suffered an MCL sprain last Sunday. The oft-injured veteran did not practice all week.
“It just wasn’t there,” said Pederson. “You know with these — he had a pretty significant knee [injury]. I went back and looked at the film from the game and [the injury occurred] in the red zone, down inside the 5 [yard line]. On the run that he had, I went back and looked at it again, and it’s pretty significant. So it’s just not there yet.”
Mathews’ injury will prevent him from playing against the Packers and there’s also a possibility it could linger beyond this week.
“There’s always that fear; especially with the knee,” said Pederson. “We just want to make sure that it’s 100 percent before we put him back out on the practice field, but there is a concern that it could linger and maybe — Because now we will be coming off a Monday night game into a short week, and we’ll be going back on the road. So we’ve just got to find out again next Wednesday where he’s at.”
With Mathews out, the Eagles are expected to have three running backs active on game day: Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Kenjon Barner. Sproles suffered a broken rib during the Eagles-Seahawks game but Pederson expects the 33-year-old veteran to be fine for Monday.
“He actually has felt really good the last couple of days, so I don’t see anything that would keep me from not giving him the same amount of work in this game,” said Pederson.
Even with Sproles playing, Mathews’ absence should mean more playing time for Smallwood. The fifth-round rookie has shown promise in limited playing time this season. Smallwood has 253 rushing yards on 57 carries for an average of 4.4 yards per carry. He also has five receptions for 45 yards.
The Eagles relied heavily on their run game to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10. Beating the Packers with the same strategy could prove to be more difficult. Green Bay boats the seventh best run defense in the NFL.
In other news, the Eagles still haven’t revealed if Nelson Agholor will be active for Monday night’s game.
“I’m not ruling him out right now,” said Pederson. “Again, we are preparing five guys [wide receivers] to go into this football game. Haven’t made a decision yet. He’s been working extremely hard and doing everything right this week. We’ll see come game time.”
Whether the Eagles keep Agholor active or not, this could be the game where Paul Turner makes his NFL debut after signing to the active roster earlier this week.
“Paul has had a good week of practice, good week, and really the last couple weeks,” Pederson said. “We gave him some work a week ago and gave him obviously more this week, and he’s done a good job.
EAGLES INJURY REPORT
RB Ryan Mathews (knee)
OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee)
PACKERS INJURY REPORT
LB Kyle Fackrell (hamstring)
CB Demetri Goodson (knee)
OG T.J. Lang (foot)
LB Blake Martinez (knee)
OL JC Tretter (knee)
OL Don Barclay (shoulder)
CB Damarious Randall (groin)
LB Jake Ryan (ankle)