One of the biggest reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles reached the Super Bowl last season, in addition to having one of the NFL’s best rosters and coaching staffs, was the overall health of the football team.
The Eagles had the same starters in their lineup for their Week 1 game against the Detroit Lions as they did several months later in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But things have changed so far this season.
They’re already down nickel CB Avonte Maddox (torn pectoral-IR), starting ILB Nakobe Dean (foot-IR), as well as two key special teams coverage players in ILB Shaun Bradley (torn Achilles tendon-IR) and CB Zech McPhearson (torn Achilles tendon-IR).
On Monday, after testing was done for starting RG Cam Jurgens (foot), head coach Nick Siranni said Jurgens is “week-to-week.” A Week-to-week status with coaches typically means the player will miss at least a few weeks.
Cam Jurgens Could Miss Multiple Weeks
Jurgens, who is only in his fourth season as an offensive lineman (two with Nebraska, two with the Eagles), easily won a starting job in training camp over third-round pick Tyler Steen, who played tackle at Alabama.
According to a league source, Jurgens has steadily improved each week and was coming off his best game to date as an Eagle during Week 3’s win over the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Monday night.
Taking his place in the lineup will be 2019 UDFA G Sua Opeta, who replaced him during the first half of Sunday’s win over the visiting Washington Commanders.
A college scouting source said Opeta wasn’t drafted because he was not only seen as a one-position player (guard), but he was only comfortable playing one side of the line.
However, over his time with the Eagles, he has been able to play RG or LG and has become a valuable backup interior lineman. He has started four games at LG and one at RG over his career with the team, including playoffs.
Defensively, a source said that while Dean is dealing with a sprained foot, there’s optimism that he could start practicing over the next few weeks. He was placed on short-term IR in Week 2 and has to serve one more game on that list before he could return to play.
Veteran ILB Nick Morrow has started for Dean since Week 2 and is coming off a career-high three-sack game against the Commanders. He only had four sacks over his first five seasons of play in the NFL.
Morrow, a former college safety (D-III Greenville), is known in pro scouting circles for his speed but is a bit undersized (6’1 “, 216 pounds).