Last week it was Zach Brown. This week, Orlando Scandrick and Akeem Spence paid the price for the Eagles’ lethargic play.
Neither Scandrick nor Spence said anything silly about Dak Prescott before the Eagles went down to Dallas and got hammered, 37-10, on Sunday, but like Brown, who was released a week earlier after the Minnesota loss, they were veterans who weren’t playing well. In linebacker Brown’s case, there was the added intrigue of his trashing of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, before Cousins dissected the Eagles in a 38-20 Minnesota victory.
The Eagles signed defensive tackle Anthony Rush off the Raiders’ practice squad, to take the place of Spence, who has played a rotational DT role since he was signed in Week 2. Spence joined the team after prized free-agent signee Malik Jackson went down for the season in the opener. They also signed Albert Huggins, an undrafted rookie defensive tackle from Clemson who was on the Texans‘ practice squad.
Scandrick, a 32-year-old former Dallas standout cornerback, signed with the Eagles during the summer. It was pretty clear he had lost several steps. He was released, only to be brought back when a deluge of injuries hit the secondary. Scandrick recorded two sacks and forced two fumbles against the Jets, returning one of the fumbles for a touchdown. But he was much less effective the past two weeks. Sunday night at Dallas, he waved feebly at Tavon Austin, Scandrick the last Eagle with a chance to make a tackle on the Cowboys’ opening touchdown.
“Bad night, We’re going through a bad stretch right now,” Scandrick said after Sunday’s game. “We’re either going to fight through it and take accountability and come to work and handle ourselves like the professionals we are, or we can tuck our tails between our legs and look for excuses. And I don’t think that anybody is ready to tuck their tail and look for excuses. You’ve gotta give that [Dallas] team credit. They came in tonight, they executed, they kicked our [butt]. It’s no secret; they wanted it more than us tonight.”
Corner Sidney Jones, the Eagles’ 2017 second-round draft pick, was active and healthy but did not play in Dallas. Corner Ronald Darby was active but also did not play, as he recovers from a hamstring injury. It seems possible one or both of them will actually figure in the action this week at Buffalo, lessening the need for Scandrick.
In an example of the NFL circle of life, Rush was with the Eagles as an undrafted rookie this spring but was released just before training camp to make room for Scandrick. The Raiders touted him as a great find in the preseason, but they did not keep him on their 53-man roster.