Avonte Maddox

Injury Updates: Packers, Adams, Cardinals

No surprise here, but Davante Adams will miss another game this week, per the Packers‘ final injury report. This marks the wide receiver’s third-straight missed contest as he rehabs from a toe ailment.

Adams had a strong start to the season with 25 receptions for 378 yards before going down and seemed on his way to matching last year’s 111/1,386 posting. The Packers were able to get past the Lions without him and they’ll aim to do the same against the Raiders.

Here’s the latest on other bumps and bruises from around the NFL:

  • Uh oh – Cardinals running back David Johnson is dealing with a new injury. After tweaking his back against Atlanta, Johnson will be a game time decision thanks to a sore ankle, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters.
  • The Cowboys will have offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and cornerback Byron Jones are set to play on Sunday against the Eagles, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. All five are listed as questionable for the game, but they took the practice field and Friday and should be good to go.
  • The Eagles, on the other hand, will try to fly without: linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), cornerback Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck), tackle Jason Peters (knee), and running back Darren Sproles (quadricep).
  • Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to return on Sunday against the Colts, per the club’s injury report.

Eagles’ Avonte Maddox Considered Week-To-Week

It’s the best news Avonte Maddox and the Eagles could have hoped for. Doctors have diagnosed the cornerback with a neck sprain, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). 

Maddox is now considered week-to-week and likely to miss a few games. Given the scary scene that unfolded on Thursday night, it’s a huge relief. Maddox was carted off of the field after colliding with teammate Andrew Sendejo, and, initially, this appeared to be something much worse.

In addition to the neck sprain, Maddox was believed to have suffered a concussion. Given the serious nature of both injuries, the Eagles are expected to play it safe with the 23-year-old and not rush him back out on to the field.

So far in 2019, Maddox has tallied 16 tackles across four games (three starts). Last year, he notched 35 stops, plus four passes defensed, one tackle for a loss, and one forced fumble.

The Eagles’ CB group has been thinned out by injuries to Maddox and Ronald Darby, who figures to miss roughly a month with a hamstring ailment. One has to imagine that the Eagles are seriously interested in acquiring Jaguars star Jalen Ramsey to fill the void, though the asking price has climbed to new heights.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Maddox, Cowboys, Redskins

Avonte Maddox was released from a Green Bay-area hospital with movement in all of his extremities. The Eagles cornerback was discharged and is back in Philadelphia with his teammates, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Maddox and safety Andrew Sendejo collided during a scary fourth-quarter sequence Thursday night, requiring the second-year cornerback to be stretchered off the field. Maddox has been diagnosed with a concussion and a neck injury, the Eagles announced. No return timetable has surfaced, but the Eagles regular will undergo additional testing.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Previously ruled out for Week 4, Michael Gallup may need a few more weeks to fully recover from the arthroscopic surgery he recently underwent. The Cowboys wide receiver has experienced swelling post-surgery, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). Gallup now appears unlikely to play in Week 5 against the Packers, per Hill. The second-year wideout missed Dallas’ Week 3 game.
  • Xavier Woods has, however, recovered from his injury and will be in uniform Sunday night in New Orleans. One of the Cowboys’ two starting safeties missed Week 3 due to a high ankle sprain. It is not certain Woods will reclaim his starting job immediately, with the third-year defender having not been told if he or spot starter Darian Thompson will trot out with the Cowboys’ first-stringers Sunday, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com.
  • The Redskins will have two key game-time decisions in their offensive lineup Sunday against the Giants. The hamstring injury Terry McLaurin suffered in practice this week has the emerging standout questionable to face the Giants. He joins Brandon Scherff in that regard. The Redskins have ruled out Jordan Reed for a fourth straight game due to a concussion. Jay Gruden, however, does expect Washington’s longtime starting tight end to be back this season.
  • While Golden Tate‘s return will boost the Giants’ receiving corps in Week 5, the team endured another receiver setback this week. Big Blue placed Russell Shepard on IR.

Eagles CB Cre’Von LeBlanc On Roster Bubble

Eagles cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc was a pleasant surprise for the Eagles down the stretch last season, starting four games (plus a postseason contest) and providing generally strong play in the slot. Considering Philadelphia plucked LeBlanc off the waiver wire in November, the club couldn’t have asked for much more.

However, LeBlanc is not a lock to make the team, as Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia suggests. Even with Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills absent, LeBlanc has been relegated to the second team and is currently the sixth CB on the depth chart, which puts him firmly on the roster bubble.

Part of the reason for LeBlanc’s demotion has been the emergence of second-year player Avonte Maddox. Zangaro notes that Maddox, whom Pro Football Focus graded as a middling-at-best performer in his rookie campaign, has excelled both in the slot and outside the numbers and is making a case for significant playing time. He did start nine games last season, and the 2018 fourth-rounder appears to have made some strides.

Of course, given the recent injury histories of Darby, Mills, and Sidney Jones, LeBlanc still stands a very good chance of seeing the field. But if the unit remains healthy, he could be looking for a new club this summer. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020, so if he can earn playing time somewhere and build on his 2018 performance, he could be in for a nice payday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Eagles’ Cornerbacks

The Eagles secondary is beyond banged up. As the team gears up for Sunday’s game against the Giants, Chandon Sullivan, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and DeVante Bausby stand as the team’s only healthy cornerbacks, head coach Doug Pederson says. 

[RELATED: Eagles Activate DT Timmy Jernigan]

Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, and Sidney Jones were unable to take the practice field on Friday. It’s a terrible spot for the Eagles to be in after losing star Ronald Darby to a torn ACL.

To fill the gap, the Eagles have employed reserve wide receivers as cornerbacks in practice. That won’t fly in a real game, so the Eagles may have to make a move or two in the next couple of days. Practice squad defensive back Jeremiah McKinnon may be a leading candidate for promotion, but no decision has been made on that front just yet.

At 4-6, the Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives on Sunday. The Giants have been largely atrocious this year, but they’re riding a two-game winning streak and they’ll be motivated to spoil the Eagles’ season.

Eagles CBs Maddox, Douglas Suffer Injuries

The Eagles’ secondary continues to be hit hard by injuries. Cornerbacks Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas both suffered knee injuries in Sunday’s 48-7 loss to the Saints, but as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the maladies are not as bad as initially feared. 

The exact nature of Maddox’s injury is not immediately clear, but it is not believed to be a season ender. Instead, he is week-to-week, and Douglas is presumably in the same boat after his knee injury was deemed to be only a sprain.

In any event, the Eagles can ill afford more injuries in the secondary. The Eagles just lost star corner Ronald Darby for the season and Jalen Mills has missed the last two games with a foot injury. Mills’ status for Sunday against the Giants is murky and the same goes for Sidney Jones after he tweaked his hamstring, so the Eagles could be forced to draw from a group led by Chandon Sullivan, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and De’Vante Bausby.

No matter how things shake out, it stands to reason that the Eagles will sign at least one new corner this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Sign Entire Draft Class

The Eagles have wrapped up their entire draft class, the team announced. The following rookies are now officially under contract with the defending champs: 

  • 2-49: Dallas Goedert, TE (South Dakota State)
  • 4-125: Avonte Maddox, CB (Pittsburgh)
  • 4-130: Josh Sweat, DE (Florida State)
  • 6-206: Matt Pryor, T (TCU)
  • 7-233: Jordan Mailata, T (Australia)

Goedert was the Eagles’ top pick in this year’s class after they shipped their No. 32 overall pick and a fourth-round choice (No. 132) to the Ravens for a second-rounder (No. 52), fourth-rounder (No. 125) and a second-round pick in 2019. The Ravens used the final pick in the first round on Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Eagles, meanwhile, moved up from No. 52 to No 49 in a deal with the Cowboys to land Goedert.

Goedert was regarded by some as the best tight end in this year’s class, but South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst (No. 25, Ravens) and Penn State’s Mike Gesicki (No. 42, Dolphins), both went ahead of him. The South Dakota State star is now out to prove that he can dominate at a much higher level of competition. Last year, he tallied 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and eleven touchdowns.

Maddox may have a chance to contribute right off the bat following the departure of cornerback Patrick Robinson. Although he is undersized at 5’9″, evaluators say that he plays with the toughness necessary to succeed in the NFL.

Sweat, meanwhile, offers serious potential with a 4.53 second 40-yard-dash time and a track record of serious pass rushing ability. Although he tallied 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks last year, some teams were warded off by the injuries that sidelined him in high school and in the 2016 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.