The Eagles have some roster moves to make.
Friday’s injury report ahead of their Sunday night road matchup against the San Francisco 49ers leaves them with just two healthy receivers and three healthy cornerbacks. DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot) have been ruled out, while JJ Arcega-Whiteside is doubtful with a calf injury. John Hightower and Greg Ward are the only two receivers left on the active roster.
The Eagles will likely call up practice-squad receiver Deontay Burnett for the second week in a row, and Quez Watkins is eligible to be activated off injured reserve.
Starting cornerback Avonte Maddox is expected to miss multiple weeks with an ankle injury suffered during last Sunday’s tie to the Cincinnati Bengals. Trevor Williams came in for Maddox last weekend, but he too has been ruled out for Sunday because of a rib injury that kept him out of practice all week.
Darius Slay, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and Nickell Robey-Coleman are the remaining corners. LeBlanc and Robey-Coleman are prototypical slot corners, leaving defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz with a gaping hole at the outside corner opposite Slay. Robey-Coleman was the starting nickel corner for the first two weeks but lost the gig to LeBlanc last Sunday. LeBlanc could be moved to the outside, as could Jalen Mills, who moved from cornerback to safety in the offseason.
When asked if he’d be ready to play on the outside, LeBlanc, who wears No. 34, said he would be.
“Thirty-four [is] always ready when his number’s called,” LeBlanc said. “Whether that’s inside or outside, I’ll be ready to go. ... There’s definitely not any uncertainty. There’s a lot of talented guys in the room and we all have played multiple positions at one point of time in our career. However Jim draws it up, whether he sees me inside or outside or whatever my role is, I’m ready for it. I’ve practiced it and we’ll be ready to go Sunday."
The 49ers are dealing with their own lengthy injury report, which includes starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The seven-year veteran will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury, meaning third-year QB Nick Mullens will start against the Eagles.
Mullens played well in relief of Garoppolo last Sunday against the New York Giants, going 25-for-36 for 343 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers' 36-9 win.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said the team’s defensive scheme wouldn’t change based on Garoppolo’s status.
“Obviously you prepare the same,” Pederson said. “They’re very similar in style. They both throw the ball. They’re both smart. They handle the run game -- there’s a lot of run-game checks with this offense, and they handle that really, extremely well. ... They both run the offense extremely well, as we saw last week with Nick. You just have to go in and prepare — it’s different than, say, you’ve got Jimmy Garoppolo and Michael Vick, you’ve got two different types of quarterbacks. It’s two different styles. Then you might have to plan differently.”
The 49ers will have All-Pro tight end George Kittle back in the lineup after he missed two games with an ankle injury. Also, wide receiver Deebo Samuel will make his season debut after starting the season on injured reserve with a foot injury.