Safe to say, the loss of Lane Johnson was devastating to the stability of the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line. They have used four players at right tackle this season. On Sunday, there's at least a chance that they'll move onto No. 5.
Veteran Allen Barbre missed his second consecutive practice with a hamstring injury Thursday. Isaac Seumalo has been filling the void in his absence this week. Swinging the rookie interior lineman outside at this point of the season is asking a lot -- and perhaps asking for trouble -- but the Eagles have little choice.wholesale nfl jerseys
Since Johnson was suspended in October for violating the performance-enhancing drugs policy for a second time, it's been a rotating cast of characters. Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai was the first man in, but he injured his MCL against the Seattle Seahawks in November and has been on the shelf since. Barbre took his spot -- moving over from his natural position at left guard -- but was hurt late against the Washington Redskins last Sunday. Matt Tobin subbed in, only to injure his knee. Tobin has since been placed on injured reserve.
Partly because of the issues up front, Carson Wentz has been sacked 30 times and hit a total of 71 times on the season, per ESPN Stats & Info. Both rank in the top 10 in the league.
Johnson's suspension ends after this week and it sounds like Vaitai is close to a return, but for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens the Eagles could be working with a skeleton crew.
They'll be going up against a Ravens defense that ranks first in the league against the run (3.4 yards per attempt). Considering the Eagles could also be down Darren Sproles, who remains in concussion protocol following a brutal hit on a punt return last week against the Redskins, head coach Doug Pederson may once again lean on Wentz and the passing game.
Wentz has averaged 45 pass attempts over the last six games and is on pace to shatter the franchise record for most attempts in a season. The shakier the offensive line gets, the more dangerous it becomes to drop the rookie quarterback back at that clip.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews, for one, thinks the Eagles need to attack Baltimore's run defense head on.cheap NFL jerseys from china
"I think the first game where somebody really challenged them [the Ravens] was last game, the Patriots, they pinned their ears back and they said, 'We're going to challenge this run defense that's top in the league,' and they were able to do that and have some success," Matthews said.2006 NFL Super Bowl XLI Indianapolis Colts Championship Ring
The Patriots ran for 95 yards (3.7 avg.) and a touchdown in Monday's 30-23 win.
"So we have to have that same mindset and go out there and play hard," Matthews said.
With Sproles ailing and Wendell Smallwood (knee) on injured reserve, the Eagles have called up Byron Marshall from the practice squad. The rookie out of Oregon has apparently made some "wow" plays as a member of the scout team this year, per offensive coordinator Frank Reich, and could get into the mix along with Ryan Mathews and Kenjon Barner.