The Philadelphia Eagles will look to rebound from their first loss and a rash of injuries when they host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Not only did the Eagles fall to 1-1 with a hard-fought 24-20 loss on the road to the Atlanta Falcons, but they also will have to reconfigure their gameplan with a number of key players lost.
Defensive tackle Malik Jackson already has been ruled out for the season with a Lisfranc injury. The Eagles canceled practice Wednesday in favor of a walk-through, with so many players hurt, and they also will enter Sunday without defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (broken foot) and likely without running back Corey Clement (shoulder).
It’s unclear if wide receivers DeSean Jackson (abdominal strain) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) as well as tight end Dallas Goedert (calf) will play. None were listed as participants in Wednesday’s estimated injury report.
Look for wide receivers Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, a rookie, to have larger roles along with tight end Zach Ertz.
“That will be the recipe to try to put our guys in a position to be successful,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “Get them in plays they are suited to, that their skill sets are best suited to. We have to maybe play a little bit of a different kind of game.”
Quarterback Carson Wentz was hit repeatedly during the loss in Atlanta and went through concussion protocol. Though Wentz was cleared and not on the injury report, he took a number of rough hits.
“Obviously, this is a physical, violent game,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “Quarterbacks are going to get hit. We saw two quarterbacks in the league (Sunday) get hit, or one get hit and one on a throw (New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger). So it’s part of the game.
“It’s one thing you love about Carson is his toughness. You’d love to see him maybe throw the ball a bit sooner here and there.”
The Lions (1-0-1) opened the season with a 27-27 tie against the Arizona Cardinals and followed that with a 13-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Despite not posting a loss, the Lions have struggled on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, they rank 16th in total yards rushing with 105 per game. As a result, they already made a change in cutting running back C.J. Anderson and replacing him with Paul Perkins, who was signed off waivers from the New York Giants.
On the defensive side, prized free agent acquisition Trey Flowers has yet to register a sack through two games. The defensive end entered this season with 21 career sacks.
“We’re still young, we’re still learning, so we got a long way to go as far as that’s concerned,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said. “But I do think that right now we’re trying to be mentally tough.
“We’re just trying to make sure that we understand that sometimes it’s going to be the next-play mentality, sometimes we’re going to have to forget the last one and go out and just do the right thing the next play and stay within that moment.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was 22 of 30 for 245 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Chargers. But he seems to be getting more comfortable with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
“I know what he’s going to call, and now I’m just learning more and more when he’s going to call it,” Stafford said. “That just comes with experience, but I’ve had a lot of fun playing in this system for two games.”
Linebacker Jarrad Davis (ankle) and defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand (elbow) hope to make their season debuts. Both were limited in practice on Wednesday, along with starting left tackle Taylor Decker (back).
—Field Level Media