The Philadelphia Eagles team that will take the field this Sunday continues to move further and further apart in appearance from the Eagles team that took the field in week one.
In addition to releasing veteran defensive end Jason Babin yesterday, the team also announced that they have placed their top wide receiver, DeSean Jackson, on injured reserve after suffering multiple rib fractures in the team’s Monday night loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Jackson, whom the team paid a hefty new contract in the offseason, was injured on an end-around in the first quarter and did not return to the game. He had 45 receptions for 700 yards and two touchdowns this season.
As the team struggles through a disappointing 3-8 season—its second consecutive non-winning season during its great free agency experiment—the Eagles watch their team erode through injury and lack of production.
Jackson’s injury is just the latest in a long string of injuries that have plagued the Eagles this year, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. And his removal from the offense for the rest of the season is a major blow to one of the other key injury replacements on offense: quarterback Nick Foles.
Foles, a third round rookie draft pick, has played in and started the last two games for the Eagles due to a significant concussion suffered by starter Michael Vick. He is expected to start the next game as well.
It is not inconceivable that Foles finishes out the season as the starter, either, as the team would like to know what they have in Foles heading into next year’s draft should they also choose to part with Vick.
None of that is helped by the litany of injury woes along the offensive line, however. Even before the season began, the Eagles lost their left tackle, Jason Peters, for the year to an Achilles injury.
So far this year, they have also lost center Jason Kelce and right tackle Todd Herremans for the season, both having been placed on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the team’s current center, Dallas Reynolds, is dealing with an ankle sprain, prompting left guard Evan Mathis—the only lineman to play every game—to take reps at center.
If Mathis does end up starting at center this week, it would put guard Danny Watkins back in the lineup, who has not been in the lineup since week 6 after being injured.
With the latest injury to DeSean Jackson, the Eagles unit once referred to as a ‘dream team’ when first assembled in the 2011 season is continuing to look more and more like a mirage.
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