Bill Davis expressed hope Tuesday that his injured starting cornerbacks - Byron Maxwell (SC joint) and Eric Rowe (concussion) - will play Saturday night against the Redskins. Neither participated in Tuesday's practice, and a source close to the situation indicated Monday they might miss the game.
"Right now it's day to day," the Eagles' defensive coordinator said. "I'm hopeful that we get both of them (back), but I do not know (for sure). We'll practice accordingly and have everyone prepared. And when we get to Saturday, we'll play who's healthy."
Maxwell confirmed that the injury is to his SC joint -- where the collarbone attaches to the sternum -- suffered when he tackled Arizona running back Kerwynn Williams after a catch.
Rowe said he isn't sure when he became concussed, that he came to realize he was "just hangin' on out there." He said he initially thought the blow might have occurred on a stiffarm from Michael Floyd, but has decided that wasn't it. The NFL employs concussion spotters at each game, but obviously, when a player isn't aware of when he was concussed, there might not be an obvious indication for someone watching from the press biox.
Maxwell tried playing with his injury but said he 'took a direct hit to it," and "didn't have any power or anything."
Maxwell said the injury is more painful than an AC joint sprain, to the other end of the collarbone, where it attaches to the shoulder -- the injury quarterback Sam Bradford dealt with this season, which Maxwell said he'd had earlier in his career. "You can play through that," Maxwell said.
Maxwell said he's trying to get the range of motion back in his arm.
"It's too early to tell" about playing Saturday, he said. He said he couldn't have played if the game had been held today.
If Maxwell and Rowe can't play Saturday, as the Eagles try to keep their season alive, Davis said E.J. Biggers and Jaylen Watkins, who replaced them after they got hurt Sunday against Arizona, would start. Biggers has 32 career starts. Watkins, who was the Eagles' fourth-round pick in 2014, has never started an NFL game.
Davis said both of them played well in coverage against the Cardinals.
"The other night, the intelligence of our secondary really was on display when those guys went down," Davis said. "We were moving multiple positions. There was two- and three-man positional shifting going on within the drives.
"Because of the recall that Wat(kins) has (he was signed off of the Bills' practice squad three weeks ago when Nolan Carroll suffered a season-ending ankle injury) and that mental IQ, the football IQ of the secondary, we were able to play the packages that we wanted to. They were where they were supposed to be and we were able to function because of their ability to position-swap."
Safety Walter Thurmond played about a dozen snaps on the outside as well. But Davis said his first preference would be to keep Thurmond inside.
"If we had to have him out there we would," he said. "The question is, what's the best combination? That's the moving part. What makes us the strongest, both from what they're presenting us and who we are and where we are and what our size matchups and speed matchups are. All of those things factor in."
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur also spoke to the media Tuesday. With respect to DeMarco Murray, who had just two carries against Arizona and only 21 in the last three games, Shurmur said the Eagles are going to use the most productive running backs.
"If we had one running back that was far and away better than the other ones, then you would see probably one guy get most of the snaps," he said. "We just happen to have guys we think are good and we don't mind it when they're in there."
When it was pointed out that Murray won the NFL rushing title last year with Dallas and was signed in March to a five-year, $40 milion contract by the Eagles, Shurmur said, "All of that was last year. And that was in his situation in Dallas.
"I have a great deal of respect for DeMarco. We need him to play at his best. When he's out there, we need him to put good reps on the field for us. That's where we're at. Last year was last year. Next year will be another story. We're at the end of this year. And we need him at his best."