Eagles Injury Update: Jon Dorenbos Among Four Players Likely Out For The Season
Doug Pederson offered a lengthy update on the Eagles’ injury situation following Philadelphia’s Week 14 loss to the Washington Redskins. According to Pederson, four players suffered potential season-ending injuries on Sunday: long snapper Jon Dorenbos, rookie running back Wendell Smallwood, reserve tackle Matt Tobin, and backup defensive back Jaylen Watkins. Pederson said all four players are candidates to be placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.
Dorenbos suffered a broken wrist and had season-ending surgery following the Washington game. The 36-year-old’s consecutive game streak now ends at 162, which is tied with Harold Carmichael for the longest in franchise history.
With Dorenbos out, the Eagles will work out free agent long snappers this week. Pederson noted rookie undrafted free agent John DePalma will be one of the players the Eagles look at. DePalma spent time with the Eagles in training camp before being cut in late August. Veteran tight end Brent Celek served as the team’s emergency long snapper and botched a snap before later leaving the game due to injury. Trey Burton filled in as the team’s third string long snapper.
Dorenbos signed a multi-year contract extension with the Eagles last month. He was recently named the Eagles’ Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. Pederson called Dorenbos “one of the leaders of the team” and said he’s “definitely going to be missed.”
In other injury news, Smallwood is out due to a right knee Grade 2 MCL sprain. Pederson called it a “lengthy injury” and compared it to the one Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered in Week 11. Smallwood, a fifth-round pick from the 2016 NFL Draft, had seen an increased workload recently but now he’s likely done for the season. Pederson suggested the Eagles might call up practice squad running back Byron Marshall in order to replace Smallwood.
Like Smallwood, Tobin also suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain. Tobin actually suffered the injury on the second-to-last play of the Eagles’ final offensive drive. Tobin’s injury explains why he wasn’t able to block Ryan Kerrigan at all on the play where the Washington defensive end recorded a game-sealing strip sack on Carson Wentz. Pederson said the Eagles didn’t know Tobin was hurt at the time. If he did, he said rookie right guard Isaac Seumalo would have shifted out to right tackle with Josh Andrews filling in at guard.
As far as Vaitai is concerned, Pederson said ‘Big V’ is “doing better” and the team anticipates having him back “in the near future.” He said he was unsure about Vaitai returning this week but he made it sound optimistic he’ll return before the end of the season. Then again, the playing time likely won’t be there for Vaitai since starting right tackle Lane Johnson will be eligible to return from suspension in Week 16.
Watkins suffered a ruptured tendon in a finger on his left hand. His injury could force the Eagles to change some of their personnel configurations in the secondary.
Pederson didn’t have any further information on the illness that caused starting right guard Brandon Brooks to miss his second game in three weeks.
“We have not yet,” said Pederson when asked if he’s determined the issue. “That’s something we’re going to continue to explore today with him. And just see. It’s obviously unfortunate but we need to get to the bottom of it and just find out why.”
Pederson said there was no indication Brooks was going to be out until last minute.
“He was there at the stadium and he was [planning on] playing,” explained Pederson. “Ready to go when all this happened.”
Darren Sproles suffered a concussion after taking a dirty hit from Washington. He won’t be able to return until his passes through the league’s mandatory protocol. Speaking of Sproles, the Eagles announced he’s one of eight finalists for the 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
Allen Barbre (hamstring) and Celek (stinger) won’t practice on Wednesday but should be able to play against the Ravens on Sunday.
Brooks, Jordan Matthews, and Dorial Green-Beckham are expected to practice on Wednesday.
The Eagles’ playoff hopes might be over, but the team still has three games left to play. The Birds will need to make a number of roster moves this week in order to compensate for their injury situation. Stay tuned for more updates.