Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons: Sidney Jones won’t play; here’s who else is out
Philadelphia Eagles’ Sidney Jones in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Jones made his NFL debut in the regular-season finale two weeks ago after returning from a torn Achilles, but the second-rounder left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. It’s unclear whether the Eagles would have activated Jones had he been healthy.
In any case, Jones will sit out, and fellow rookie Rasul Douglas will dress as the Eagles’ first reserve cornerback.
The only other Philadelphia player who entered the weekend on the injury report, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring), has been cleared to play. He’ll suit up against the Falcons and serve as the MIKE linebacker in the base defense.
- MORE: Get ready for the game with our preview post and hang out on our in-game blog this afternoon.
The Birds were left with six players other than Jones to deactivate. Here’s a look at those guys, with an explanation of why they’re sitting out:
DT Destiny Vaeao: Vaeao is the biggest surprise on this list, because he’s been a steady part of the defensive tackle rotation. In the playoffs, the Eagles decided they didn’t need to spell their starters as much, so they’ll have just three defensive tackles dressed for the first time all season.
RB Wendell Smallwood: Smallwood, an oft-injured second-year back, lost his role in the offense when the Eagles traded for Jay Ajayi in October.
WR Marcus Johnson: Johnson earned a spot on the team with an impressive spring and summer, but with the team’s starting wide receivers remaining healthy, the second-year professional out of Texas hasn’t had much room to see the field.
OT William Beatty: A 32-year-old veteran, Beatty joined the Eagles in November to add insurance behind a thin offensive line. He hasn’t been active often, though. Isaac Seumalo will dress as the Eagles’ backup offensive tackle.
DT Elijah Qualls: Qualls earned significant playing time early in the year when the Eagles’ defensive line dealt with injuries, but he spent most of the second half on the season on the bench.
DE Steven Means: Means developed a reputation for strong work ethic in Philadelphia and has thrived in rare opportunities to see the field, but the Eagles have a talented crop of pass rushers ahead of him on the depth chart.
Falcons’ inactives: WR Marvin Hall, RB Terrence Magee, DB Leon McFadden, LB Sean Weatherspoon, G Sean Harlow, OL Austin Pasztor, TE Eric Saubert
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