Eagles coach Doug Pederson initially said after Mathews suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks that the lead back was day-to-day. But now that Mathews is slated to be sidelined for at least one week, Pederson has changed his tune.
“There’s always that fear, especially with the knee. We just want to make sure that it’s 100 percent before we put him back out on the practice field,” Pederson told reporters Saturday. “There is a concern that it could linger because now we will be coming off a Monday night game into a short week and going back on the road, so we’ve just got to find out next Wednesday where he’s at.”
Jamison Crowder is a fascinating athlete who notched his third touchdown of the season after shredding the Ravens last week with an 85-yard punt return to the house. Sunday’s score — a beautiful 16-yard grab in the back-left corner of the end zone — marked the fourth touchdown of the year for a Redskins wideout now serving as a core member of Washington’s air attack.
It gets no easier for the skidding Eagles, who play eight of their final 11 games against clubs that currently have a winning record, including the Vikings, Cowboys, Falcons, Seahawks, Packers, Redskins, Ravens and Cowboys.
Although Philadelphia’s 2017 first-round pick went to Cleveland in the Carson Wentz trade, general manager Howie Roseman compensated by picking up Minnesota’s top draft pick in the Sam Bradford swap. The Eagles also have an extra fourth-round selection from the Browns deal.
Roseman has been one of the most active wheelers-and-dealers since regaining his office from Kelly. It will be no surprise if Smith is soon catching passes from Wentz as the Eagles try to keep pace with the Dallas Cowboys in a tight NFC East race.
“When this coaching staff came in, they told us, ‘We’re going to give you the tools you guys need to own this defense. You guys need to take it over,'” cornerback Nolan Carroll said. “That’s a great feeling as players and I think you see the results.”
With Fletcher Cox making an early case for consideration behind Von Miller in the Defensive Player of the Year discussion, Brandon Graham in a defense better suited to his talents and a playmaking safety duo in Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod, the Eagles defense is soaring. Through three games it’s the prefect mesh of talent and scheme.
“I don’t have any connections with the Eagles or I wouldn’t be out there on my lunch break not getting lunch,” Lloyd told BillyPenn.com on Tuesday. “I clock out for lunch early to get there. I have a boss who’s cool enough to let me take a lunch break at 11 o’clock to go see Swoop and give him a high five.”
Obviously, the Eagles have no limits to how many times someone can win the contest, though we suspect that’s something that might change before next season. Not that I’d agree with it: If Mr. Lloyd is winning these tickets fair and square, the Eagles should build the contest around that. Kind of like how ratings on Jeopardy! shot up when Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row.
Those young linemen include recent draft picks Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Davis and Willie Henry in addition to undrafted 2016 standout Michael Pierce.
From the Eagles’ perspective, they sacrificed 25 spots in the draft for a one-year audition with a talented underachiever at a position of need. It’s likely no coincidence that vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas was in Baltimore’s front office when Jernigan was drafted out of Florida State.