One of the Eagles most impactful rookies, in what has been a largely surprising 2010 campaign, may miss time after suffering a severe neck strain against Indianapolis, Sunday. Rookie safety Nate Allen has been deemed improbable for Monday night’s division matchup against the Washington Redskins, according to head coach Andy Reid.
“It looks like he’s going to be a struggle to make it for this week, but we’ll see how he progresses,” Reid said Monday.
This past off-season, as we all know, the Eagles traded away the face of the franchise for the past 12 seasons to their NFC East Rival Washington Redskins for a second round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. The Eagles used that draft choice on Allen, who will undoubtedly have to overcome being the “McNabb pick”.
Allen was immediately slotted at starting free safety, and since day one has shown his ability to make big plays on the field. Allen has started all eight games for the Birds this season, producing 34 tackles, a sack, and three interceptions, which is second best among rookies only behind Seahawks’ safety Earl Thomas (4).
With Allen out, the Eagles look to seventh round pick Kurt Coleman to step in and be productive. Coleman got some extensive playing time Sunday, with Allen leaving the game early, and played very well defending Peyton Manning, who is widely regarded as the best QB in the game. Coleman has recorded 14 total tackles in a limited role on this Eagles defense and has been productive on special teams.
The Eagles only have three safeties on the roster–Quintin Mikell, Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. Dmitri Patterson, who at the beginning of the year was thought to fill in at Safety, is playing for the injured Ellis Hobbs.
Reid said he has talked to General Manager Howie Rosman about the possibility of bringing in a veteran safety but no talks are serious at this time.
It will be interesting to see what the Eagles do to an already banged up secondary before Monday’s game.