Updated: Dec 21, 2019
The NFC East is on the line this weekend as the Dallas Cowboys come to Philadelphia to face the Eagles. Both teams sit at 7-7, but one of these mediocre teams will be hosting a playoff game in about two weeks.
The Eagles are dealing with some injuries to some impactful players, which could determine the outcome of this game. Here is a look at their final injury report:
WR Nelson Agholor (knee): Agholor has missed three of the last four games because of this knee issue. He could end up active for this important game, but he might not take as many snaps as he would if he was 100%. Greg Ward has been a pleasant surprise filling in for him the past two games, and will likely get a majority of Agholor's snaps regardless if Agholor is active or not.
DE Derek Barnett (ankle): This injury would have been more impactful earlier in the year, but Josh Sweat and Vinny Curry have been decent in their time on the field, racking up a combined seven sacks. If Barnett isn't able to play, then Curry will likely get the starting role, with Sweat and maybe Genard Avery getting some snaps as well.
T Lane Johnson (ankle): This is a tough injury to deal with. There has still been nothing official mentioned, but the speculation is that Johnson's injury is a high ankle sprain. Even though a lot of people would say that is better than it being broken, high ankle sprains sometimes have lengthier recoveries than breaks. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will be the right tackle on Sunday, but if the Eagles are able to win there might be some hope Johnson returns in Week 17 to help the Eagles solidify their playoff spot.
CB Ronald Darby (hip): Darby has had a rough month of football. If Darby is unable to play or can only play a limited amount of snaps, it should open the door for Rasul Douglas to get back on the field.
RB Jordan Howard (shoulder): Howard STILL hasn't been cleared for contact OVER A MONTH LATER after suffering his shoulder/stinger injury. At this point fans shouldn't have their hopes up for a return this year. We can hope that this time out means a new contract for him would be much cheaper. With him still out, we can still assume that Miles Sanders and Boston Scott will get the bulk of the carries, with Jay Ajayi also sprinkled into the offense.
CB Avonte Maddox (knee): Maddox pops up late on the injury report with this injury. If he can't play or is limited, then Cre'Von Leblanc will handle slot duties.
The Cowboys also have a long injury report, but we have no idea if they are going to exaggerate any injuries just so the Eagles have to study more players and more options for the game. Here is what they are claiming on their report:
OLB Joe Thomas (knee): Thomas has been helping fill in for Leighton Vander Esch, who has not played since Week 11. Thomas has not put up much on the stat sheet in LVE's absence, recording just 28 tackles, one pass defended and one forced fumble in 234 defensive snaps. If both Thomas and Vander Esch can not play, then Chris Covington might become a starting outside linebacker for the Cowboys in this crucial game. Covington got his first action of 2019 last Sunday, playing in 26 snaps and recording three tackles. The newly signed former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith might also get some snaps too.
CB CJ Goodwin (thumb): Goodwin has primarily been a special teamer for the Cowboys this season, playing in 70% of the teams' special teams snaps. If active he is not expected to make an impact on defense, as he has recorded just 21 snaps on defense this season.
WR Devin Smith (knee): Smith has only caught five passes this season, so he is not expected to be a big factor in this game if he is healthy enough to play. Ventell Bryant might be his replacement of he can not go on Sunday.
LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck): Vander Esch has not played since Week 11 due to his neck injury. As mentioned earlier, his backup Joe Thomas is also dealing with an injury. So if both Vander Esch and Thomas can not play, then Chris Covington might become a starting outside linebacker for the Cowboys in this crucial game. Covington got his first action of 2019 last Sunday, playing in 26 snaps and recording three tackles. The newly signed former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith might also get some snaps too.