Sproles out for Sunday; Barbre questionable, Pederson says
Washington will have Deshazor Everett, the safety who concussed Darren Sproles with a vicious hit last Sunday, when the Redskins face the Carolina Panthers, though Everett's wallet will be lighter by more than $48,000 for penalized hits on Sproles and Brent Celek.
But the Eagles will play Baltimore without Sproles, their most dynamic weapon, who remains in the NFL concussion protocol, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Friday. This is a huge loss, especially with running back-kick returner Wendell Smallwood going on injured reserve this week after suffering an MCL sprain against Washington. Pederson said Ryan Mathews will get most of the running back snaps, spelled by Kenjon Barner, who will assume Sproles' punt return role, and by rookie Byron Marshall, up from the practice squad to make his NFL debut.
Allen Barbre, the left guard turned right tackle who suffered a hamstring injury Sunday, was scheduled to test his hammy in Friday's practice, with "very limited" work, Pederson said. He said Barbre likely will be a gametime decision. If he can't go, the Eagles will debut their fifth right tackle of the season, rookie guard Isaac Seumalo.
The Eagles drafted Seumalo for his versatility, but this is pushing the envelope for a player who has practiced almost exclusively at guard and center until this week.
"Been great in practice," Pederson said of Seumalo, who played all five offensive line positions, at least briefly, during his college career at Oregon State. "He's smooth, athletic, smart, he understands the schemes. Obviously, the live reps Sunday, we'll find out, but he's done a good job this week."
Nonetheless, Pederson said the Eagles see Seumalo as a guard and center going forward, and even though original right tackle Lane Johnson will have maybe one or two practices at the most when he returns next week from his 10-game suspension, before next Thursday's game against the Giants, Pederson said "it's almost a no-brainer that we've got to put him out there, even on a short week," if the injury situation doesn't improve.