The Philadelphia Eagles were on top of the world. They won their first Super Bowl in franchise history, they had a roster that was truly special. With a roster this great, how could they not be in the playoffs the next year? Well we caught the dreaded injury bug.
It all started with the first two games of the year. With Carson Wentz still being hurt from his ACL injury he suffered in week 13 of last year against the Los Angeles Rams. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles started against the Falcons and Buccaneers; he played well enough to win one of those games. With Wentz coming back, the Eagles were officially back in business. Nothing can possibly go wrong right? Well it can (and certainly did) go wrong.
The offense was struggling with Alshon Jeffery recovering from his shoulder surgery he had dealt with in the offseason, Mike Wallace fractured his fibula in Week 2, Darren Sproles gained a hamstring injury in Week 1, Mack Hollins was put on IR before the season even started after suffering a groin injury in the offseason. With a lot of offensive personnel going down, we still felt that our offense will be fine with Wentz and our workhorse running back Jay Ajayi. Well just our luck, Ajayi tore his ACL in Week 5's game against the Vikings.
But it's alright, at least we have our great defense to help carry us through games right?
We started the year without our starting defensive tackle Tim Jernigan due to a herniated disc in his back. He missed 11 weeks, and came back just to play one game before reaggrevating his back injury. In Week 3, we lost our hard-hitting safety Rodney Mcleod due to a torn MCL, and he was put on IR. All teams have injuries, but for the Eagles it was about to get rough.
In Week 7 we lost our second year defensive end Derek Barnett due to a shoulder injury, and he was placed on IR. Jordan Hicks, the run stuffing linebacker, hurt his calf and has been out since Week 10. The Eagles were still keeping afloat despite the current situation, but then the secondary literally fell apart.
Sidney Jones hurt himself in Week 7 with a hamstring injury, he came back but has been playing hurt ever since. Week 8 we lost Jalen Mills, 1 of our top 2 corners on the roster, due to a foot injury, he was placed on IR. Ronald Darby, our number 1, corner tore his ACL in Week 9 and was placed on IR. In Week 10 against the Saints we lost rookie Avonte Maddox with a knee injury, and he has not played since.
The Eagles were forced to use undrafted rookies midway through the season to play cornerback, and now cannot stop any sort of passing offense that they face. I cannot help but think that the Eagles would be having a lot better season if they did not get hit with the injury bug so bad this year. The "Next man up" mentality can only work so much. After the crushing lost to the Cowboys, its time to start thinking towards next year, where we hopefully have most of our personnel available and ready to play. They got us this year when we were down, but best believe this team is due to wreak havoc on the NFL next season.