Allen Barbre Will Start At Left Guard vs. NYG
Allen Barbre (hamstring), Jordan Matthews (ankle) and Isaac Seumalo (ankle) are questionable for the Eagles’ Thursday Night Football, but all are expected to play, according to Doug Pederson. That means with the return of Lane Johnson, the Eagles will have their five starting offensive linemen together for the first time since Week 4.
“It’s definitely a blessing this late in the season to have all five guys back to their original spots,” Pederson said. “When we lost Lane back after the fourth game, you kind of marked this date on the calendar hoping to be in a little better situation at the time. It is what it is and we’re here now, but we’re fortunate to have all five guys back.”
Because of Johnson’s availability and Barbre’s improved health, Barbre will start at left guard for the first time in five weeks. On the opposite side of the offensive line, even though Johnson went 10 weeks without practicing and playing during his suspension, the Eagles’ head coach expects the 26-year-old to be able to play the entire game.
“He might be a little fatigued early, but I think he’ll be fine,” Pederson said. “He’s looked good. He’s got a lot of energy, obviously. We always kid the guys that miss time with fresh legs — he’s energetic and he’s eager and he’s ready to go. Had a good week of practice, mentally into it and he’s excited.”
Although there has been a considerable amount of shuffling along the offensive line with five different players filling in at right tackle this season, one constant has been Jason Peters. After only playing two-thirds of the offense’s snaps last season, the 34-year-old hasn’t missed a game this year. He has played 97 percent of the offense’s snaps, which ranks him behind only Jason Kelce and Carson Wentz — both of whom haven’t missed a down.
While some speculated about the Eagles potentially cutting Peters after this season if he couldn’t stay healthy to save $9.2 million against the 2017 cap, he appears to be a lock to return. The team has expressed a strong desire to retain him, and Peters has said he wants to be back.
“He’s very capable of another couple of seasons,” Pederson said. “He’s really done a great job from a health standpoint — his weight and managing all of that. (Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland) has done a good job with him monitoring him in practice and not taking the full complement of reps throughout the week. I can go back to some of the conversations we had way back in the spring, ‘How do you manage Jason Peters?’ I feel like we’ve done that extremely well this season. He feels fresh. He feels healthy.
“I love him. I want him on the team. I don’t want him to go anywhere. I want him to be an Eagle for the rest of his career. We get through these next two games, we’ll have to address all that in the offseason.”