The Detroit Lions’ Week 8 opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, have declared their injury designations, and they will be without their starting running back, Miles Sanders.
Let’s take a look at the Eagles’ injury report, with the starters bolded.
Headed to injured reserve
- RB Miles Sanders (ankle/foot)
Sanders will be placed on injured reserve coach Nick Sirianni said Friday, and the Eagles will turn to rookie Kenneth Gainwell to take his place as their starting running back. He will likely split touches with Boston Scott and possibly Jordan Howard, who is expected to be elevated or signed from the practice squad.
Coach Sirianni provides an update on Miles Sanders and what it means for the running back room. pic.twitter.com/Es0CqThdDH— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 29, 2021
Through seven games, Sanders carried the ball 63 times for 300 rushing yards, an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Gainwell is close to matching that average (4.6 YPC) but he hasn’t done it at the same volume with just 26 carries for 120 yards. So, the drop off doesn’t appear to be too steep, as long as the rookie can sustain his output with increased touches.
- CB Zech McPhearson (hamstring)
The Eagles have only needed to use three corners on the season, Darius Slay (99 percent of snaps), Steven Nelson (99.4 percent), and nickel Avonte Maddox (65.4 percent). McPhearson is next in line on the cornerback depth chart, yet he has only seen two defensive snaps all season. While his absence won’t impact the Eagles' defense too much, he is one of their starting gunners, which could be a problem for Philadelphia.
- S Anthony Harris (thumbs/groin)
Sirianni said they aren’t ready to rule out Harris just yet because they want to see how he will respond to rehab, but it’s doubtful that he will be healthy enough to play against the Lions.
With K’Von Wallace on injured reserve, the Eagles' only remaining safety on the active roster is Marcus Epps. Despite being a technical reserve Epps has played on nearly 50 percent of the team's defensive snaps this season.
- WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (back)
Arcega-Whiteside has been the Eagles’ fifth option at receiver this season and does not have a single reception on the season. Even if he is able to play, his impact on the Eagles’ offense would likely be minimal.
No injury designation
- WR DeVonta Smith (headache)
- RT Lane Johnson (rest)
- C Jason Kelce (rest/foot)
- LG Landon Dickerson (hip)
- IOL Jack Anderson (hamstring)
- DT Fletcher Cox (rest)
- DT Javon Hargrave (shoulder)
- EDGE Ryan Kerrigan (groin)
Smith was only held out Wednesday with a headache but practiced in full the rest of the week. He’s good to go.
Johnson was unable to play in Weeks 4-6 due to an ankle injury, and while he returned in Week 7, he didn’t finish the game. Not finishing the game didn’t appear to be a result of his ankle—it’s not listed on the injury report—but it’s being speculated as a possible conditioning issue, which is why he was rested earlier in the week.
Kelce has been on a rest routine most of the season and his foot injury doesn’t appear to be an issue. By all accounts, Cox got the same treatment this week.
Dickerson was not on the injury report Wednesday but showed up on Thursday with a hip injury. Sirianni said he expects Dickerson to play this week against the Lions, but if he has an unexpected setback and is not able to go, the Eagles will turn to their third-string guard Nate Herbig.
Anderson has typically been inactive on game days, but if Dickerson is unable to play, he may be active for depth.
Sirianni also said he expects Hargrave and Kerrigan to play without restriction. Hargrave has been one of the Eagles’ best defenders this season and leads the team with six sacks on the season. Kerrigan is not the player he used to be and looks like his career may be coming to a conclusion soon.