Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery out with significant injury; Lane Johnson ‘week-to-week’ with ankle sprain
Coach Doug Pederson wouldn’t say whether Jeffery’s injury is season-ending, but with three weeks left, the chances of his return seem bleak.
The Eagles’ injury report has grown once again, as the dust settles on their 23-17 win over the New York Giants on Monday night.
During his Tuesday news conference, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson is “week-to-week” with a high-ankle sprain. He added that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who left in the first quarter with a non-contact injury in the middle of a play, is dealing with something “a little more significant." Pederson wouldn’t say whether Jeffery’s injury is season-ending, but with three weeks left, the chances of his return seem bleak.
“I am waiting on one more test result this afternoon,” Pederson said. “It’s a little more significant with him. We have to do a course-of-action plan with him.”
Jeffery has battled injuries all season, missing the better part of two games early in the year with a hurt calf, and missing two more games last month with a bad ankle. Pederson said the previous injuries didn’t factor into Jeffery’s injury Monday.
The Eagles went into the Giants game with just three active wide receivers, and finished the game with tight end Joshua Perkins playing as the team’s third wideout.
Johnson left in the second quarter after quarterback Carson Wentz was hit into his leg, rolling up the 29-year-old right tackle. The Eagles had recently signed Johnson to a record-setting contract extension worth $72 million over four years. His $54.595 million guaranteed made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.
Pederson said the team plans to continue to use Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right tackle in Johnson’s absence. Against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12, the team moved Andre Dillard to Johnson’s spot on the line, but the rookie struggled mightily and was benched.
After the game, veteran left tackle Jason Peters said he would be willing to switch to the right side if the team needed him, and Pederson said the team would weigh its options.
“We’ll look at everything, obviously,” Pederson said. “I thought Big V did a nice job in the game yesterday. He and Brandon worked side-by-side, so right now we would consider just doing that, kind of the status quo.”
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Miles Sanders, and Jalen Mills all left momentarily during Monday night’s game, but Pederson said all three are fine. Arcega-Whiteside told reporters after the game he was dealing with just cramps. Sanders left for the locker room in the fourth quarter, but returned to the game.
With Jeffery out, Pederson said the Eagles will likely have to make a move to restore depth to their battered wide-receiving corps. They’ve now lost DeSean Jackson for the season and Jeffery indefinitely, and Nelson Agholor missed Monday’s game with a knee injury. Right now, their only two healthy receivers are Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. They have three wideouts on the practice squad: Robert Davis, Marcus Green, and Marken Michel.
“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we need to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, as you know, we could look outside the building if we need to. But we’re going to work through that today.”