While the injury status of many key players remains unclear for Philadelphia as they prepare to face the New York Jets on Sunday, the Eagles will return to Giants Stadium at 1-3 after their last visit in week three hoping for a better outcome.
In the 16-3 loss to the Giants, Philadelphia's offense was without Brian Westbrook, (abdominal tear), William Thomas, (MCL sprain), and L.J. Smith (groin), and it was hard not to notice their absence. The Eagles also were missing Lito Sheppard (knee sprain) and Brian Dawkins (stinger) on defense.
The Eagles have not confirmed the status of any of the injured players for the game against the Jets, and guard Todd Herremans is now unlikely to play after getting arthroscopic knee surgery.
The potential loss of Herremans is not a good sign for an offensive line that struggled to keep the quarterback upright for much of the game against the Giants. Without Thomas in the lineup, New York recorded twelve sacks and the Donovan McNabb was unable to get into any kind of rhythm in the passing game. Even though the Jets defense only has three sacks on the season, a beat up offensive line could spell trouble.
Not having his reliable tight end Smith also hurt McNabb, and the offense in general did not have the game breaking potential that Westbrook brings to the field. Against the Giants, the Eagles did not even have one play of 20 yards.
So far though, it seems that the injuries on offense are affecting the team more seriously than those on defense. Although the secondary lost Dawkins in week 2 and has been without Sheppard all season, the Eagles have managed to play well against the pass. With William James and Joseilo Hanson stepping in, the defense has given up only 943 yards through the air, which ranks as the 9th fewest in the league.
Dawkins’ replacement, Quintin Mikell, has done a formidable job filling in for the all pro-safety and has contributed to the strong play of the defense. In two starts, Mikell has 14 tackles and a sack.
While they wait to find out who will be suiting up for the game against the Jets, one thing the Eagles can look forward to is a trend that has occurred during Andy Reid's tenure in Philadelphia, and hope they get a little luck on their side. In games following the bye week, Reid is undefeated at 8-0.
For a team sitting at 1-3 and dealing with injuries to crucial players, the Eagles will take all the luck they can get.