Philadelphia Eagles’ Stefen Wisniewski out, Rasul Douglas inactive; here’s who else is sitting
Philadelphia Eagles’ Stefen Wisniewski runs during practice at the team’s NFL football training facility in Philadelphia, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It’s not the biggest Philadelphia Eagles injury news of the week, but the team announced starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski will miss Sunday’s game against the Giants with an ankle injury.
Wisniewski, who entered the day as questionable, didn’t participate in a full practice this week and never warmed up on the MetLife Stadium field Sunday. It’s likely that fifth-year veteran Chance Warmack will start in Wisniewski’s place as the team plays its first game of the season without MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz, who learned Monday he suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
The Eagles also listed third-round rookie cornerback Rasul Douglas as an inactive player. It’s the first game Douglas will sit out of since the season opener.
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Warmack’s lone start of the season came in Philly’s first matchup with the Giants, a 27-24 victory Sept. 24. He and Wisniewski rotated in at the left guard spot from Weeks 3 through 5 as the Eagles’ coaching staff searched for the best option at the position, and Wisniewski eventually claimed the job outright.
After Wisniewski injured his ankle in last week’s win over the Rams, Warmack replaced him but struggled against Los Angeles’ all-pro defensive end, Aaron Donald. Isaac Seumalo played some at left guard when it became clear Warmack was ineffective.
Whether it’s Warmack or Seumalo taking snaps, the Eagles will have a couple of backups on the left side of the line Sunday as quarterback Nick Foles steps in for his first start of the season. Second-year left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai entered the lineup in late October after nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters suffered an ACL tear against Washington.
Wisniewski was the only roster member who entered Sunday’s game on the injury report, which leaves the team with six healthy inactive players. Here’s a look at the guys sitting out Sunday:
CB Rasul Douglas: We mentioned Douglas already, but it’s a bit surprising to see his name on the inactive list after he spent a chunk of his rookie season in the starting lineup. But with Ronald Darby healthy and the Eagles’ searching for help on special teams, the team felt no need to have Douglas suit up.
WR Marcus Johnson: The Eagles have used rookie Shelton Gibson as the No. 5 active wide receiver instead of Johnson over the past four games. A second-year undrafted wideout out of Texas, Johnson has appeared in nine games this season and caught two passes, but the team seems to prefer Gibson’s special teams abilities.
DT Elijah Qualls: A sixth-round rookie, Qualls has provided insurance this season for the Birds, but he hasn’t played this month because the four defensive tackles ahead of him on the depth chart have remained healthy.
RB Wendell Smallwood: Smallwood has been active for just one game since the Eagles traded for running back Jay Ajayi on Oct. 31.
LB Dannell Ellerbe: Ellerbe, a veteran who joined the team as a free agent last month, was active the past two weeks in place of Joe Walker. Now that Walker’s stinger has healed, Ellerbe heads back to the bench.
DE Steven Means: Means is a well-respected reserve, but the four defensive ends in front of him on the depth chart have played every game this season, so he hasn’t had many chances to make an impact.
Giants inactives: Safety Nat Berhe, wide receiver Travis Rudolph, running back Paul Perkins, linebacker Jeremy Cash, offensive lineman Damien Mama, wide receiver Hunter Sharp and quarterback Davis Web.
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