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Eagles’ options to replace injured Lane Johnson, Avonte Maddox

Funviralpark 1 year ago 0 7

The Eagles have been healthy for most of the 2022 season, but injuries are starting to mount.

Add two more to the list from Saturday’s game in Dallas. Both right tackle Lane Johnson and Nickel cornerback Abonte Maddox will be sidelined for a while, head coach Nick Siriani confirmed Monday afternoon.

Johnson reportedly tore a tendon in his abdomen and Maddox is out indefinitely with a toe injury.

With two games left in the regular season, the Eagles are gearing up for the playoffs, but still need their No. 1 seed in the NFC. In the last two games for him it is enough for him to win one.

Here are the options for replacing these two key players.

Replacing Lane Johnson

1. Right tackle starts Jacques Driscoll

When Johnson had to leave the Cowboys’ game in the second half, the Eagles played Driscoll in his place. I gave up in a hurry.

Driscoll, 25, is in his third season in the NFL and is already worthy of the fourth-round pick the Eagles used to draft him out of Auburn in 2020.

During his NFL career, Driscoll played guard and tackle, appeared in 35 games, and started 14 games. Here’s a breakdown of those 14 starts: 8 times in RG, 5 times in RT and 1 time in LT. Driscoll has only started at left tackle this season against the Cardinals. His five career starts have been at right tackle, one last season and four as a rookie in 2020.

Driscoll’s one start at right tackle last year was against the Chiefs. It was the first game Johnson missed to deal with mental health, and Driscoll found out just before the game that he was starting, in which he scored his 61st pass. Brock gave up his pressure five times on his snap.

The following week, Jordan Mailata returned from injury and the Eagles kicked Driscoll to right guard and started the next eight games before suffering his own injury. Driscoll is solid.

This is the line the Eagles would use if Driscoll started in Johnson’s place.

LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Jason Kells
RG: Isaac Cemaro
RT: Jack Driscoll

2. Mailata on right tackle, Andre Dillard on left tackle

After the first game without Johnson last season, the Eagles turned things around for the next two games without Johnson. They connected Mailata on the right tackle and replaced him with Dillard on the left tackle. Both Mailata and Dillard are better on the left, but Mailata is better on the right.

The problem with this option: While it might give the Eagles the best combination of five linemen, it theoretically weakens the line in two different places. This is what OL coach Jeff Stoutland has traditionally tried to avoid.

Mailata did well last year at the right tackle, but gave up a sack to Herson Reddick when he played against the Panthers. You may remember that when Reddick signed into Philadelphia as a free agent, Mailata told him he was on the right side when the two faced each other and felt more comfortable on the left.

If the Eagles think Johnson could miss some of the playoffs, they want him back.This option may be more attractive.They extended with this composition. You can get practice reps and may be better in the long run.

If this is an option then:

LT: Andre Dillard
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Jason Kells
RG: Isaac Cemaro
RT: Jordan Mailata

3. Play Dillard at Light Tackle

The last option is less likely. The Eagles’ attempt to play Dillard at right tackle dates back to 2019, and it was a disaster. He lasted only half against the Seahawks in that try before being pulled out. Since then, Dillard has played exclusively on the left side, serving as the Eagles’ backup left tackle and left guard this season.

Most teams have a backup swing tackle that can be played by either side, but the Eagles have their own set-up. Dillard was his LT/LG in backup and Driscoll was his RT/RG in backup.

In an ideal world, Dillard would have plug-and-play versatility on the right tackle, but that doesn’t seem like a viable option:

LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Jason Kells
RG: Isaac Cemaro
RT: Andre Dillard

“Of course, everything will be on the table, whatever we think is best,” Siriani said Monday. “I like the fact that Jordan has versatility.” We like the fact that Jack is a really good backup, and we believe they can get out there and do their job.”

Exchange of Abonte Maddox

1. Play Josiah Scott Nickel

After Maddox hurt his toe against the Cowboys, backup nickel cornerback Josiah Scott played in his place for the rest of the game and struggled. ProFootballFocus charged Scott that he had three catches for 76 yards.

It was Maddox’s third serious injury of the season, and in each of the previous two instances, the Eagles simply added Scott to their lineup. In his six games Maddox has missed this year, Scott has averaged 47.8 snaps per game.

Admittedly an imperfect way to judge a player, Scott ranks as the 107th best cornerback out of 121 in the PFF’s NFL. Maddox has him ranked 24th. This is a big dip with the playoffs looming.

2. Play CJGJ on a Nickel and Play Lead Blankenship Safely

Eagles safety CJ Gardner-Johnson is currently out four games with a lacerated kidney he sustained against the Packers in the first half, but is eligible to return from the IR this week.

“It’s always about where he is, because it’s something you don’t mess with,” Sirianni said. You’ll learn more when you complete .

“Just because he’s eligible to come back doesn’t mean he will. It will just be waiting for the result to come back when you receive it.”

But if Gardner-Johnson can return this week or soon, the Eagles will have the option to play it safe on bases down and move to the nickel spot in the subpackage. Blankenship will then field as a safety. . In his first three years in the NFL, Gardner remembers Johnson that he was one of the best nickels in the NFL. This season, he had six interceptions while learning to play safely on the spot.

“Obviously, he has a lot of versatility,” Siriani said. “I think the same thing you guys asked when he got here, he didn’t play it safe. Well, he showed he could play it safe. Well, he hasn’t played a nickel in over a year of his.Well, he can do that too.

“It’s also a day-to-day thing, and when we know he’s healthy and ready, we’ll cross that bridge. Chauncey is very versatile and can do many things. And it’s really good for us.”

Why are the Eagles trying to move multiple pieces this time around? not. Blankenship has played exceptionally well as an undrafted rookie this season, and if he tries to slip out for CJGJ to play a nickel, the Eagles need a reliable security to replace him. would be

3. other options

The ones listed above are most likely to replace Maddox, but there are others. If the Eagles want to trust veterans in a safe place instead of blankenship, they have Anthony Harris on the practice team. He’s a full-time starter for the Eagles in 2021, and while his play hasn’t been spectacular, he’s at least a veteran who knows the scheme inside and out.

They even managed to sign someone on the street. An old friend of his, Cre’Von LeBlanc, recently tweeted that he is healthy and ready for what comes next. He was a solid nickel corner in his career.

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