Eagles safety Rodney McLeod‘s season is presumably over. The team announced on Twitter that they’ve placed the safety on the injured reserve. The Eagles have promoted wideout DeAndre Carter to take the open roster spot.
McLeod underwent knee surgery earlier this week after suffering a torn MCL, and many assumed he’d ultimately land on the IR. However, Doug Pederson initially refused to comment about whether the safety would end up missing the remainder of the season. Instead, the head coach simply said the defensive back would be out for “a while.” Considering these comments, perhaps the Eagles are optimistic that McLeod could return to the field towards the end of the season.
McLeod signed a five-year, $35MM deal with the Eagles prior to the 2016 season. He’s proven himself to be worth the expenditure, as he has notched three interceptions in each of the last two years. After compiling 10 tackles and four passes defended through the first three weeks of this season, Pro Football Focus ranked McLeod as a top-20 safety in the NFL.
With McLeod sidelined, the Eagles will likely turn to Corey Graham as the replacement in the starting lineup. Otherwise, the team is rostering only two other healthy safeties: starter Malcolm Jenkins and recent trade acquisition Deiondre’ Hall. As our own Dallas Robinson notes, the safety market is starting to dry up, with Mike Mitchell, T.J. Ward, Lardarius Webb, Tyvon Branch, and Jairus Byrd among the top available free agents.
Carter has bounced around the league since going undrafted out of Sacramento State in 2015, spending time with the Ravens, Raiders, Patriots, and 49ers. He has one catch for 10 yards this season with Philly, and he could temporarily serve as a returner. The Eagles decision to promote Carter instead of practice squad safety Tre Sullivan could be an indication that Alshon Jeffery won’t be ready to go for tomorrow’s game against the Titans (as noted by Jeff McLane of Philly.com on Twitter).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.