Eagles' Stefen Wisniewski goes down; Chance Warmack, Isaac Seumalo struggle
Offensive line depth is tested once again, and is found lacking.
LOS ANGELES — Ah, those carefree days when the Eagles' left guard situation could command fans' attention.
Carson Wentz's knee injury pretty much made it all moot, but one reason the Birds struggled mightily to defeat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, despite scoring touchdowns on three successive first-half possessions, was that left guard Stefen Wisniewski left the game with an ankle injury. The coaches tried first Chance Warmack, then Isaac Seumalo. Neither player fared very well against a stout Rams defensive front.
If Wisniewski isn't better for next Sunday's visit to the New York Giants, this looms as a significant problem for immobile backup quarterback Nick Foles, if anyone still cares.
"I got to be ready at all times for any situation," Warmack said.
Why did Warmack think the team switched at halftime to Seumalo, who has been practicing mainly as a tackle since Jason Peters went down?
"I don't know, man. I don't have any control over the decisions that they make. When I was in there, I was just trying to get warmed up, get confident. … It's football, man. … I'm confident in their decision-making. Isaac went in there and did his job, so I'm happy we won."
Burton, Celek keep it tight
Tight end Zach Ertz remains in the concussion protocol and missed Sunday's game, but the Eagles made his replacements big parts of the offense.
Trey Burton had five catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted six times. Brent Celek also caught his first touchdown pass since 2015.
"I just did what they asked me to do," Burton said. "It's tough for me to see [Ertz] not play, but he'll be back next week and we just got to keep it rolling."
Burton, whose touchdowns both were hard-fought catches, has turned into a reliable role player on offense. The fourth-year pro has improved every season since signing as an undrafted rookie in 2014, and he has a close relationship with Carson Wentz. In the three games Ertz has either missed or left early, Burton has 11 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns.
"Trey hasn't gotten a lot of offensive plays, but when he has, he's made the most of his opportunities," coach Doug Pederson said. "Real proud of the way Trey played."
Sudfeld is the only sub now at quarterback
If the MRI exam confirms that Carson Wentz is out for the season, Nate Sudfeld would become the No. 2 quarterback, behind Nick Foles. Sudfeld, acquired on waivers from Washington, started the season on the practice squad and was promoted to the active roster in November. He has not yet been active for a game with the Eagles.
"We brought Nate in here for that reason, obviously," Pederson said about whether Sudfeld would be the backup. "We'll evaluate that, but we're comfortable with the guys we have."
Sudfeld, who is 6-foot-6 and 227 pounds, was a sixth-round pick by the Redskins in 2016.
Brent Celek scored a touchdown for the Eagles Sunday and his brother Garrett scored one for the 49ers. … LeGarrette Blount gained just 12 yards on his seven carries; Jay Ajayi carried 15 times for 78 yards, and Corey Clement gained 24 on six. … Missed tackles by Malcolm Jenkins and Patrick Robinson led to a 64-yard catch-and-run for Cooper Kupp, who caught five passes for 118 yards. … The Eagles were 2-for-2 on fourth down. They outgained the 9-4 Rams, 455-307.
Get insights on the Eagles delivered straight to your inbox with Early Birds, beat writer Zach Berman's newsletter for Eagles fans. Click here to sign up.