Outside linebacker Trent Cole fractured a bone in his hand against the Cowboys on Sunday night, an NFL source said Monday.
It's unclear whether the Eagles veteran will need season-ending surgery. Even if he doesn't, Cole would be a long shot to play against the Washington Redskins on Saturday.
Cole was unavailable for comment after the game. Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he didn't have an update on Cole at his Monday news conference.
If Cole is sidelined, Brandon Graham would start at the "Predator" outside linebacker spot opposite Connor Barwin. Bryan Braman would be the third man in the rotation. The Eagles moved top draft pick Marcus Smith to inside linebacker in September, and he has stayed there, although he has hardly played.
In his 10th season, Cole is the Eagles' longest-tenured player with guard Todd Herremans, who suffered a season-ending biceps injury in November. Cole, 32, is under contract for next season, but it would be difficult for the Eagles to bring him back at his salary of more than $10 million.
Fletcher still a starter
Bradley Fletcher will keep his job as a starting cornerback when the Eagles play the Redskins, Kelly said. Fletcher was in coverage on all three of Dez Bryant's touchdowns in the 38-27 loss to Dallas.
"I've seen Fletch compete," Kelly said. "I think he gives you everything he has, and the one thing I like about Fletch is that he's going to compete out there. He made a bad turn once on the ball. The other ball, I think if you look at it, really, it was a perfect football thrown by Tony [Romo] and a great route run by Dez, and getting matched up with one of the best in the league. . . . But we still have confidence in Bradley, and he's going to be our corner this Saturday."
The Eagles have two other cornerbacks who could make a case for more playing time: Brandon Boykin and Nolan Carroll. The Eagles like both of them in the roles they hold. Boykin plays in nickel coverage, and Carroll plays in dime coverage. Carroll, who has starting experience, pushed for a starting job during the summer, before an injury slowed his bid.
"He's such a valuable person for us in our dime personnel in terms of what we are doing there, and we are in a lot more dime than we are in nickel now because of the loss of [DeMeco Ryans]," Kelly said. "Just like we consider [Boykin] a starter, we consider Nolan a starter because of how much we are in that scheme."
The Eagles-Cowboys game on NBC drew the highest overnight rating for an NFL Sunday night game since the opening week of the season.
The game drew a 14.9 rating. It was the most-watched Sunday night game since Sept. 7, when Denver topped Indianapolis, 31-24, with a 15.1 rating.
Total viewership numbers for the Eagles-Cowboys game were not available. - Bloomberg
Eagles Notes: The Return of RG3
Robert Griffin III isn't done yet with the Washington Redskins.
A fifth starting quarterback change this season - this one mandated by Colt McCoy's aggravated neck injury - means RG3 will get the call Saturday against the Eagles.
"He's got every chance this week against the Philadelphia Eagles to take this position and run with it," coach Jay Gruden said Monday.
Griffin, McCoy, and Kirk Cousins have combined to produce a 3-11 record and a guaranteed spot in the NFC East cellar.
McCoy suffered a sprained neck last week in a 24-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams. He lasted only one series Sunday against the New York Giants before taking a hit that aggravated the nerve.
Griffin came on in relief for the second straight game. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown in a 24-13 loss. Griffin was sacked seven times.
- Associated Press