With the injury bug biting almost every team in the NFL, it’s hard to look at the Philadelphia Eagles’ situation and be worried. RB LeSean McCoy might have a broken rib, but he still had his third 100+ total yards from scrimmage game this season against the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.
The offense lost an emotional leader in Leonard Weaver, but Owen Schmitt, who had done little offensively before arriving in Philly, has shown he can run on third or catch the ball as a check down receiver if need be. There have been plenty of concussions to go around, but it appears that the latest Eagles’ star concussed, Asante Samuel, should be back to handle Atlanta’s Roddy White this weekend. Still, there are a few injuries that could definitely impact this Sunday’s game.
The biggest name on the injured list is still Michael Vick, and it’s yet to be decided if he will be playing against his former team this weekend. Andy Reid said on Wednesday Vick is progressing, but without being able to practice it’s doubtful he’ll take the field Sunday.
As much as I want to see Vick back, Kevin Kolb’s performance last week definitely eased the minds of a lot of fans and hopefully can reproduce a similar game back in Philadelphia. Vick’s absence without a doubt removes a level of explosiveness from the offense, but Kolb showed he’s willing to go down field with his passes—now he just needs Brent Celek to actually catch some of those passes.
With a good game under his belt, Kolb makes Vick’s injury easier to swallow, and in fact, Vick’s injury may no longer be the worst on the offense. Offensive tackle Jason Peters will most likely be out until Week 9 when the Eagles return from the bye. Without Peters on the field, the Eagles will be penalized less, giving them some yards back on offense. Now, let’s not act like Peters is the tackle everyone was excited to get when Philly got him from Buffalo, as he still gets manhandled every once in a while.
But no matter how many penalties or how many times Peters is slow to react to the snap, he is still exponentially better than his replacement King Dunlap. Dunlap was solely responsible for at least half of Kolb’s four sacks last Sunday and directly contributed to his fumble as well. He’s also going against a no-joke defensive end in John Abraham this weekend, so Kolb and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg might have to go back to their “check down” offensive scheme from two weeks ago when Kolb replaced Vick against the Washington Redskins.
Brodrick Bunkley looked like he was out for the season with a ligament tear in his elbow, but the king of elbow surgery, Dr. James Andrews, believes Bunkley could return this season after some rehab instead of undergoing season-ending surgery. Bunkley isn’t the best on defense but he’s a big body at 6-2, 306 lbs. that at least fills a gap against the run. Expect Bunkley back after the bye week as well.
Atlanta has had their share of injuries, but the 4-1 Falcons get Michael Jenkins back this weekend, a big receiver that could really hurt the Eagles, especially if Samuel doesn’t return. Check back this weekend for Week 6’s Match Up Breakdown and post-game analysis.