THE EAGLES' battered defense, already nursing injuries to both starting cornerbacks, is likely to be without starting nose tackle Bennie Logan on Saturday against Washington, an NFL source said.
Logan has started every Eagles game since taking over for Isaac Sopoaga midway through 2013, Logan's rookie season. That would be 38 successive starts for a man who has been working through an ankle injury in recent weeks, then suffered a calf strain near the end of Sunday's 40-17 loss to Arizona.
Presumably, Beau Allen will start at the nose as the Eagles try to keep their playoff hopes alive, and Brandon Bair will be active for only the fourth time this season. Cedric Thornton also can slide over to the middle.
The corners, Byron Maxwell (SC joint sprain) and Eric Rowe (concussion), said it is too early to say whether they will be able to play. Maxwell said he could not have played if the game had been Tuesday. Rowe is in the league concussion protocol, "taking tests," he said. They and Logan sat out practice, along with special-teams standout Seyi Ajirotutu (ankle).
Rowe said he didn't know when or how he was concussed, only that he came to realize he was "just hangin' on" before leaving Sunday night's game in the second quarter.
He said he initially thought the blow might have occurred on an early stiff arm from Michael Floyd, but has decided that wasn't it. Though the NFL employs concussion spotters at each game, when a player isn't aware of when he was concussed, there might not be an obvious indication for someone watching from the press box.
Maxwell tried playing with his injury, but said he "took a direct hit to it," and "didn't have any power or anything," so he took himself out. Jaylen Watkins and E.J. Biggers were the corners for the rest of the game. They covered reasonably well, but were prominent in a defensewide tackling meltdown.
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.
Biggers has 32 career starts. Watkins, who was the Eagles' fourth-round pick in 2014, released before this season and brought back from the Buffalo practice squad Nov. 27, has never started an NFL game.
Safety Walter Thurmond played about a dozen emergency snaps on the outside against Arizona. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis said his first preference would be to keep Thurmond inside. Undrafted rookie corner Denzel Rice has been on the roster but inactive all season. Rice said Tuesday he has been told he will play on special teams, at least, this week.
DeMarco Murray rocked no metaphorical boats Tuesday when he spoke with reporters, in the wake of getting only eight snaps and two carries Sunday night. Murray said he is healthy and his focus is helping the Eagles make the playoffs.
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said earlier Tuesday that he had spoken with Murray the day before, that Murray remains engaged and positive. Murray said "we always have conversations." He said he did not complain to Shurmur about the lack of carries.
Asked whether he is going to want to sit down with the coaches after the season and discuss the future, Murray said: "I'm not a big talker. I don't say much. I just kind of do my role and go from there."
Murray said he wants to "be a professional and keep going. Obviously, we're in a position to make the playoffs, got a huge game this week. That's kind of where my mind is. I'm not worried about carries and things of that nature. All of that stuff will take care of itself in due time, and we'll go from there."
Is Murray tired of dealing with questions about how he's being used?
"Very tired," he said. "Obviously, I've never dealt with anything like this in my life. That's more frustrating than anything. I guess that's how it is. I don't know."
Murray said he's hoping the Eagles get more running opportunities against Washington than they had against Arizona.
Murray has been perfect on third- or fourth-and-short this season. Would he have gotten the first down Ryan Mathews didn't get on fourth-and-a-foot, just before halftime Sunday?
"I don't know. It's hard to say . . . Mathews is a pretty special back and a powerful guy," Murray said.
On Twitter: @LesBowen