Offensive Line Depth?

Shawn Andrews rehabbing?  (Geoff Mosher blog)

Shawn Andrews rehabbing? (Geoff Mosher blog)

It’s been an injury riddled training camp for the Eagles and quite frankly, I think the injuries will continue into the preseason.  Already lost for the year are Stewart Bradley and Cornelius Ingram – the starting middle linebacker and rookie tight end, respectively – both with ACL tears, who were being counted on as big contributors to the Eagles football team.  Knowing that both players will be on injured reserve, allows the team to move on and find replacements.  However, with the injuries to the offensive line, it’s not as easy.  You see, we have no idea if our projected starters will be ready for the season.

Right now, center Jamaal Jackson appears to be the only healthy member of the projected starting offensive line.  Jason Peters has some nagging injuries, but looks ready and will start in the first preseason game.  After that, it’s a mess.  No one knows what is going on with Shawn Andrews.  Stacy Andrews is coming along and barring any setbacks should be ready for the season.  It was just announced that Todd Herremans has an injury that could lead to a stress fracture.  All of this should be of concern to the Eagles organization and Eagles fans.  The Eagles could have had one of the most dominant lines in Eagles history if they were healthy and had time to develop as a unit.  Not going to happen.

Taking some consolation is that the team appears to have depth at the offensive line, specifically the guard positions.  Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles both have had experiences starting and look comfortable in their roles.  Mike McGlynn has apparently played well in camp and has a year on the roster under his belt.  The tackle position is a little more enigmatic.  I suspect Todd Herremans was the lead back-up at the tackle spots, since the team is deep at guard, but with his injury this may force the Eagles to use inexperienced and clueless Winston Justice.  Also, King Dunlap, while blessed with size, strength and power, can’t seem to put it together on the field.  I’m not sure who else will man the tackle positions if the injury situation gets worse.  Stacy Andrews could slide out to play tackle and big Jon Runyan is still unsigned, but we don’t know if his rehab will put him in a position to be ready for the season.  

The way I see it is this:  aside from getting healthy fast, the Eagles need to get their young tackles some significant playing time in the preseason.  If the injuries continue they will need lineman that can be trusted to allow this team to win.  For once I agree with Andy Reid, it looks like the way to win football games is at the line of scrimmage.  

Other injury issues include the defensive line with the Trent Cole shoulder and Victor Abiamiri pectoral.  I do suspect those guys will be ready for the season, but I assume the Eagles are preparing some depth at defensive end with Chris Clemons, Juqua Parker, Bryan Smith, Justin Babin and even Darren Howard, sliding out from tackle.   Let’s just get healthy and escape without any other significant injuries.

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