With the Eagles season over, there will be much speculation about changes, trades, hires, the draft, extensions, etc. The list could go on and on. One thing that nearly everyone can agree on is that something needs to change to protect the players’ health. That may come in the form of changes in the training staff, training routines or something else. Based on Howie Roseman's comments on Tuesday, a change in the staff is unlikely. Something needs to change and they certainly need to "continue to develop in thier roles" as Roseman said.
Usually, injuries are no excuse for a team not performing. This season, it certainly is an understandable one for the Eagles. While it certainly wasn’t the only issue, it was a huge one.
The list at the bottom of this article is of every player who was on the 53-man roster at any point throughout this season. As such, Paul Worrilow and Elie Bouka, who were on IR the entire season, and Chris Maragos, who was on the PUP list all season, are not included in this list, so there are additional injuries.
The list is broken down by player position. Names in bold mean that that player suffered from a significant injury this season; serious being defined as having forced a player to miss games or, in a few cases, injuries that severely impacted the productivity of a player.
Going through the list, you will find 69 names. 35 of those names are bolded – and that is without the three players I previously mentioned as not on the roster. 38/72. 52.77% of the players with the Birds this year suffered a significant injury. Over half. That is unacceptable.
The roster only carries 53 players and 38 players suffered a significant injured. Of course, not all players would have made the 53-man if everyone were healthy (McGill, Perkins, LeBlanc and Bouka, for example), but 34 players of the 53-man is still 64.15% of what would have been the roster. With those kind of numbers, it is simply amazing that the Eagles managed nine wins and managed to stay in every game other than the Saints game. Find me another team that could suffer that many injuries and still manage to make the playoffs and win a playoff game, too. The more likely fate is that of the Redskins who were serious contenders prior to their injuries piling up before falling out of contention entirely.
Like all things, there is a bright side to some of these injuries. The injuries forced the Eagles to pick up players like Cre'Von LeBlanc, Treyvon Hester, Daeshon Hall, Jordan Matthews and Boston Scott who would not have been with the team otherwise and players like Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox and Tre Sullivan were forced to step up and grow. They could all have a big impact on the team in the future.
The Eagles will have some tough decisions to make in regards to the salary cap this offseason as well as a lot of work ahead to ensure that the 10 players they draft are the best ones to build a competing team with, but fans should feel comfortable that the Eagles will be getting a lot of talent back healthy in 2019.
Carson Wentz, Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld
While it was widely anticipated that Wentz could miss some time at the beginning of the season, he also missed time at the end of the season. He missed two games at the beginning of the season recovering from his torn ACL/MCL, but also missed five games at the end of the season with a back fracture.
While Foles did suffer bruised ribs, that injury only made him miss one series against the Redskins when the game was in hand and his play did not seem to be affected. His injury is not counted.
Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Golden Tate, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, Mack Hollins, DeAndre Carter, Shelton Gibson, Markus Wheaton and Kamar Aiken
Alshon missed the first three games of the season and then played through broken ribs in the divisional round.
Mike Wallace essentially didn’t play for the Eagles. He registered no catches and missed 16 games and all but one drive of another.
Mack Hollins was on the active roster for all of a day before landing on IR and missing all 18 games of the season.
Gibson may have suffered injuries, but it never landed him on IR and he barely played to begin with, so there is no way to know if injuries affected his play. He is not counted.
Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood and Boston Scott
Clement was injured early in the season forcing him to miss two games early on. He did not perform for much of the season but seemed to get back on track in weeks 12 and 13. Early in week 14, however, he suffered a knee sprain and was placed on injured reserve, missing the final four games of the season, seven in all.
Ajayi suffered a back injury in week two and missed week three. He then tore his ACL in week five and was placed on IR, missing the last 13 games of the season in addition to week three.
Sproles suffered a hamstring injury in week one and missed the next 10 games. While he was able to come back strong, he sat out more than half of the season.
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers and Josh Perkins
Richard Rodgers figured to see significant time when signed, but the Eagles drafted Goedert and Rodgers ended up on IR before week one. He missed the first nine games of the season and, by that time, was easily behind Goedert on the roster.
Perkins made the roster in Rodgers place and proved to be a pretty good third tight end. He suffered a knee injury in week 10 and essentially swapped places with Rodgers, missing the final nine games of the season.
Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Stefan Wisniewski, Isaac Seumalo, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Matt Pryor and Jordan Mailata
Johnson suffered an MCL tear and missed one full game, playing only 11% of the snaps in the game the injury occurred (week nine). His play early in the season was clearly affected by the high ankle sprain he had at the start of the season and he was unable to play every snap in the Birds week seven match-up.
Peters played the entirety of only seven games and managed less than 10% of snaps in two different contests. He missed parts of 11 games suffering from a torn bicep and a strained quad. They both affected his play when he was in the game, particularly early in the season, and may have been to blame for some of the penalties he committed.
Brooks seemed to be the healthiest and most consistent player on the offensive line prior to tearing his Achilles early on in the divisional round game against the Saints.
Seumalo missed three weeks with a pectoral injury – the three games that the Eagles had to win out to get into the playoffs at the end of the regular season.
Mailata never saw the field during the regular season. That didn’t help the rookie avoid injury as he missed the final four games after being placed on IR with a back injury.
Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Deiondre' Hall and Tre Sullivan
McLeod completed only two games, tearing his ACL in week three and missing the 15 games following that.
Corey Graham missed weeks six, seven and eight due to injury.
Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Chandon Sullivan, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Devante Bausby, Josh Hawkins and Dexter McDougle
Mills missed the last 10 games of the season after suffering a foot injury in week eight and, eventually, landed on IR.
Douglas missed parts of four games with injury including most of the second Giants game, when he played only two defensive snaps. He missed quite a few snaps in the divisional round, forcing the Eagles to play Hawkins, who had never played for the Birds and gave up a touchdown, in his stead.
Darby tore his ACL in week 10 and missed the final nine games of the season.
Jones suffered a hamstring injury in week six and never recovered. He played in parts of three games after that, but never looked like the player he was the first five games of the season. He missed nine complete games this season.
Maddox played safety early in the season but missed three games from weeks 12-14. He returned as a corner. He missed a few snaps in the divisional round, but only a few.
LeBlanc didn’t miss time, but played with a broken finger and cast at the end of the season. Hard to argue that a cast doesn’t impede a defender’s ability to make tackles, interceptions, force fumbles or tip passes. Especially difficult for a corner.
Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nathan Gerry, LaRoy Reynolds, B.J. Bello and DJ Alexander
Hicks missed four games due to injury this season.
Alexander missed a total of five games this season, two early on and three late in the season. While he played in the divisional round, he missed the three games prior to that.
Nigel Bradham and KGH didn’t miss much time, but I have included them because both broke their thumbs and played with casts. See the notes on LeBlanc above.
Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Destiny Vaeao, Haloti Ngata, Treyvon Hester, Bruce Hector and TY McGill
While Jernigan technically played in three games during the regular season, he played only 46 snaps. That is maybe 75% of an average game. For all intensive purposes, he missed 15 games.
Vaeao was injured in week six. He was placed on IR and waived with an injury settlement.
Ngata missed three games toward the beginning of the season and left in the middle of a few games with injuries.
McGill was barley with the team. Hester took his spot after McGill failed his physical the first time the Birds attempted to sign him.
Cox missed quite a few snaps in the divisional round and against the Rams, but was able to play parts of both of those games. Since his snap count was not too off from being used in a rotational capacity in either game, he is not included.
Michael Bennett, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall
Barnett suffered a torn rotator cuff in week seven. He was placed in IR and missed the next 11 games.
Sweat landed on IR following week 14, missing the final four games of the season.
Brandon Graham missed minimal time in the divisional round, but is included due to his high ankle sprain that kept him from producing for the first half of the season.
Bennett missed time in multiple games down the stretch with a foot injury suffered in week 12. Since his production did not seem to be affected, he was not included.
Jake Elliot, Cameron Johnston and Rick Lovato
Rick Lovato suffered a concussion against the Saints in the regular season, but did not miss much time and was back for the next game. His injury is not counted.