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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
Despite a huge loss that seemed Earth shattering last week, the embarrassed Eagles remain in contention of the NFC East and a home game in the playoffs.
The Cowboys losing to the Bears keeps them just half a game ahead of the Birds and gives the Eagles the third tie breaker over the Cowboys should the teams tie in record, head to head and division record.
That said, the Eagles just need to win their final four games – all against NFC East opponents – to get into the playoffs. Who knows what the Eagles could do if they manage to get healthy and have both Jordan Howard and DeSean Jackson back on the offense.
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
The special teams captain and starting linebacker reported concussion symptoms mid-week. His absence would mean more snaps for Nate Gerry as well as rookie TJ Edwards and the recently acquired Duke Riley. All three of those guys will be with the team, at least in training camp, barring a trade, so those snaps could be big in determining the team’s offseason strategy and the future of the team.
RB Jordan Howard
The Eagles have been missing Howard for three weeks now. Doug Pederson claims it isn’t season ending and Eagles fans can hope that he will return for a playoff run and that the injury might help the team to re-sign the otherwise productive back.
For a player who had never missed a game over his first three seasons, it would be just the Eagles luck that he misses a quarter (or more) of the games in his first season with the team.
DE Derek Barnett
Barnett injured his knee in the game against the Dolphins. He was having a dominant game up to that point.
He was able to return to the game last week, so his sitting out the game could be considered surprising. The Eagles have been getting pretty decent production from Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat, so the backups are there. His absence would mean that Shareef Miller or, more likely, Daeshon Hall is likely to see snaps. Genard Avery could also be an option.
WR Nelson Agholor
Agholor missing the game would likely mean significant playing time for both JJ Arcega-Whiteside on the outside and Greg Ward Jr. in the slot. It would also leave the team with just three receivers, so a promotion of Marken Michel or Robert Davis from the practice squad might be in order. The Eagles could also rely on their third tight end Joshua Perkins to play as an additional receiver.
Week Fourteen Preview: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
QB Daniel Jones
The Giants questionable first-round pick is in a boot and will not get to show his stuff in Philadelphia this season. Eli Manning is in line to start. This should benefit the Eagles if they can get any pressure on Manning early and force him to start throwing the ball away at every opportunity.
TE Evan Engram
Engram had become one of the top tight ends of the league, totaling 467 yards and three touchdowns in just eight games prior to suffering his injury. The Giants expect him to be available to play against the Eagles but, with him sidelined, the Giants offense takes a major hit.
TE Rhett Ellison
Ellison’s absence will only really be felt because the Giants are also missing Engram. This will put all the passing game on their receiving corps.
CB Corey Ballentine
Ballentine is a backup outside corner. He’s actually played a significant amount of defensive snaps over the Giants last few games, though. When not playing a large portion of defensive snaps, he is one of the Giants’ more important special teams players.
As a side note, Giants safety Jabrill Peppers and linebacker Chris Peace were placed on IR.
Peppers has 76 tackles, an interception and three forced fumbles. Over the first 10 games of the season, Peppers missed just three defensive snaps. His absence could result in the Eagles being able to be more successful deep down the field.
He was also a depth option as a returner which could play a factor if there are other injuries during the game.
Peace had played just two defensive snaps all season as well as a handful of special teams snaps. His absence shouldn’t be a huge impact to the Giants.