During the first few weeks of the 2015 season, particularly after the Eagles lost their first two games, much of the criticism in Philadelphia focused on the team’s decision to move on from starting guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans in the offseason. Now, one of the two players that replaced those veteran guards will be sidelined for the rest of the season, according to the Eagles, who announced today that they’ve placed guard Andrew Gardner on the injured reserve list.
Gardner, 29, signed by the Eagles prior to the 2014 season to serve as a backup, but proved to be a very valuable addition, as he went on to appear in every regular season game, including eight starts. Philadelphia had an open competition for the starting right guard job this summer, and Gardner came away with the gig.
Gardner impressed the Eagles enough that he also earned a new contract earlier this month, extending a deal that would have expired at season’s end. The extension locked him up through the 2018 season, giving him a $500K signing bonus. Unfortunately, just a few games into the new deal, he sustained a foot injury that figures to sideline him until 2016.
With Gardner now on IR, the Eagles have once again brought back veteran offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde, who has been on and off the club’s roster since being drafted in 2011. Vandervelde figures to provide some depth on the interior of the line, while Matt Tobin looks like the top candidate to slide into Gardner’s right guard position.