Eagles’ choices to switch injured Lane Johnson, Avonte Maddox

Estimated read time 7 min read

The Eagles have been wholesome for a lot of the 2022 season, however accidents are beginning to mount.

Add two extra to the checklist from Saturday’s sport in Dallas. Each proper sort out Lane Johnson and Nickel cornerback Abonte Maddox can be sidelined for some time, head coach Nick Siriani confirmed Monday afternoon.

Johnson reportedly tore a tendon in his stomach and Maddox is out indefinitely with a toe damage.

With two video games left within the common season, the Eagles are gearing up for the playoffs, however nonetheless want their No. 1 seed within the NFC. Within the final two video games for him it’s sufficient for him to win one.

Listed below are the choices for changing these two key gamers.

Changing Lane Johnson

1. Proper sort out begins Jacques Driscoll

When Johnson needed to depart the Cowboys’ sport within the second half, the Eagles performed Driscoll in his place. I gave up in a rush.

Driscoll, 25, is in his third season within the NFL and is already worthy of the fourth-round choose the Eagles used to draft him out of Auburn in 2020.

Throughout his NFL profession, Driscoll performed guard and sort out, appeared in 35 video games, and began 14 video games. Here is a breakdown of these 14 begins: 8 instances in RG, 5 instances in RT and 1 time in LT. Driscoll has solely began at left sort out this season in opposition to the Cardinals. His 5 profession begins have been at proper sort out, one final season and 4 as a rookie in 2020.

Driscoll’s one begin at proper sort out final 12 months was in opposition to the Chiefs. It was the primary sport Johnson missed to cope with psychological well being, and Driscoll came upon simply earlier than the sport that he was beginning, during which he scored his 61st move. Brock gave up his strain 5 instances on his snap.

The next week, Jordan Mailata returned from damage and the Eagles kicked Driscoll to proper guard and began the subsequent eight video games earlier than struggling his personal damage. Driscoll is strong.

That is the road the Eagles would use if Driscoll began in Johnson’s place.

LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Jason Kells
RG: Isaac Cemaro
RT: Jack Driscoll

2. Mailata on proper sort out, Andre Dillard on left sort out

After the primary sport with out Johnson final season, the Eagles turned issues round for the subsequent two video games with out Johnson. They linked Mailata on the appropriate sort out and changed him with Dillard on the left sort out. Each Mailata and Dillard are higher on the left, however Mailata is healthier on the appropriate.

The issue with this selection: Whereas it would give the Eagles the very best mixture of 5 linemen, it theoretically weakens the road in two completely different locations. That is what OL coach Jeff Stoutland has historically tried to keep away from.

Mailata did nicely final 12 months on the proper sort out, however gave up a sack to Herson Reddick when he performed in opposition to the Panthers. You could keep in mind that when Reddick signed into Philadelphia as a free agent, Mailata advised him he was on the appropriate aspect when the 2 confronted one another and felt extra comfy on the left.

If the Eagles suppose Johnson may miss a few of the playoffs, they need him again.This selection could also be extra enticing.They prolonged with this composition. You will get observe reps and could also be higher in the long term.

If that is an choice then:

LT: Andre Dillard
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Jason Kells
RG: Isaac Cemaro
RT: Jordan Mailata

3. Play Dillard at Mild Sort out

The final choice is much less seemingly. The Eagles’ try to play Dillard at proper sort out dates again to 2019, and it was a catastrophe. He lasted solely half in opposition to the Seahawks in that strive earlier than being pulled out. Since then, Dillard has performed completely on the left aspect, serving because the Eagles’ backup left sort out and left guard this season.

Most groups have a backup swing sort out that may be performed by both aspect, however the Eagles have their very own set-up. Dillard was his LT/LG in backup and Driscoll was his RT/RG in backup.

In an excellent world, Dillard would have plug-and-play versatility on the appropriate sort out, however that does not appear to be a viable choice:

LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Jason Kells
RG: Isaac Cemaro
RT: Andre Dillard

“After all, every part can be on the desk, no matter we predict is finest,” Siriani mentioned Monday. “I like the truth that Jordan has versatility.” We like the truth that Jack is a extremely good backup, and we imagine they will get on the market and do their job.”

Alternate of Abonte Maddox

1. Play Josiah Scott Nickel

After Maddox damage his toe in opposition to the Cowboys, backup nickel cornerback Josiah Scott performed in his place for the remainder of the sport and struggled. ProFootballFocus charged Scott that he had three catches for 76 yards.

It was Maddox’s third critical damage of the season, and in every of the earlier two situations, the Eagles merely added Scott to their lineup. In his six video games Maddox has missed this 12 months, Scott has averaged 47.8 snaps per sport.

Admittedly an imperfect option to choose a participant, Scott ranks because the 107th finest cornerback out of 121 within the PFF’s NFL. Maddox has him ranked twenty fourth. This can be a massive dip with the playoffs looming.

2. Play CJGJ on a Nickel and Play Lead Blankenship Safely

Eagles security CJ Gardner-Johnson is at the moment out 4 video games with a lacerated kidney he sustained in opposition to the Packers within the first half, however is eligible to return from the IR this week.

“It is at all times about the place he’s, as a result of it is one thing you do not mess with,” Sirianni mentioned. You may be taught extra whenever you full .

“Simply because he is eligible to come back again doesn’t suggest he’ll. It’ll simply be ready for the end result to come back again whenever you obtain it.”

But when Gardner-Johnson can return this week or quickly, the Eagles could have the choice to play it protected on bases down and transfer to the nickel spot within the subpackage. Blankenship will then subject as a security. . In his first three years within the NFL, Gardner remembers Johnson that he was among the best nickels within the NFL. This season, he had six interceptions whereas studying to play safely on the spot.

“Clearly, he has plenty of versatility,” Siriani mentioned. “I believe the identical factor you guys requested when he bought right here, he did not play it protected. Nicely, he confirmed he may play it protected. Nicely, he hasn’t performed a nickel in over a 12 months of his.Nicely, he can do this too.

“It is also a day-to-day factor, and after we know he is wholesome and prepared, we’ll cross that bridge. Chauncey could be very versatile and may do many issues. And it is actually good for us.”

Why are the Eagles making an attempt to maneuver a number of items this time round? not. Blankenship has performed exceptionally nicely as an undrafted rookie this season, and if he tries to slide out for CJGJ to play a nickel, the Eagles want a dependable safety to switch him. can be

3. different choices

Those listed above are more than likely to switch Maddox, however there are others. If the Eagles wish to belief veterans in a protected place as an alternative of blankenship, they’ve Anthony Harris on the observe group. He is a full-time starter for the Eagles in 2021, and whereas his play hasn’t been spectacular, he is no less than a veteran who is aware of the scheme in and out.

They even managed to signal somebody on the road. An outdated buddy of his, Cre’Von LeBlanc, not too long ago tweeted that he’s wholesome and prepared for what comes subsequent. He was a strong nickel nook in his profession.

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