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Eagles Need to Stay the Course Following Ronald Darby Injury

Philadelphia Eagles - Hunter Martin

The injury was horrific.

It made everyone in Philadelphia sick to their stomach.

The good news, however, is that Ronald Darby might not be out for the season after being carted off the field following his non-contact injury on Sunday afternoon against the Redskins.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it below.

 

 

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport provided an update on Darby and said the X-rays were negative. He’ll get an MRI Monday to check for ligament and tendon damage.

The best case scenario is a mid-season return after I immediately feared his season was lost.

Head coach Doug Pederson spoke of the loss.

“Yeah, it’s something we’ll look at tomorrow. Obviously evaluate Darby and see where he’s at. I’m sure he’ll miss some time. Obviously with the ankle, but you know, I think offensively we just have to continue to do our thing. We’ve got to clean up in the run game. We’ve got to get better in the passing game, shored up the protection and then defensively we’ll be fine. You saw it today when Jaylen Watkins stepped in and battled out there. You get [Dexter] McDougle now and you get these guys ready to go.”

So that’s the positive outlook, but now the Eagles are back to where they started at cornerback before the Darby trade. Things have changed since the start of Training Camp, however. Patrick Robinson isn’t being turned around like a top anymore. He and Jalen Mills stepped up their games on Sunday, but sustainability is the question. Robinson and Mills held up against Terrelle Pryor on a key Redskins possession early in the fourth quarter and a Dustin Hopkins 33-yard boot kept the Eagles in front 19-17.

“Those corners are on an island quite a bit and I thought both of them, Jaylen [Watkins] when he came in and Jalen Mills – what a big play when we needed it. A couple drives, the Redskins had our defense on the field for a long time so a turnover at that time was huge. I thought he stepped in and did a nice job.”

Washington didn’t score again.

The Eagles’ ferocious defensive line may alleviate some of the pressure of the cornerbacks. If they can continue to get into opposing backfields as quickly as they did Sunday when they recorded four sacks, it can hide the deficiencies of the position. Brandon Graham recorded two of those sacks, including a game-sealing strip-sack. Fletcher Cox consistently penetrated into the backfield as well and offseason acquisition got in on the fun with a sack as well.

Pederson was very proud of his defense overall.

“Yeah, you know, very, very proud of the way the guys battled on in there. As you said, it wasn’t a perfect game but they played for 60 minutes, and in these games like this, you have to do that. Hats off to those guys on defense. They battled. They hung in. [They] kept our offense in good situations when we took the field. Great job by our defense.”

With Darby’s injury, the Sidney Jones chatter may begin to start up, but I say stay the course and not risk injury. If Darby is indeed back midseason, there’s no need to put Jones out on the field. I’d like to keep him fully healthy heading into next season in a perfect world.

The Eagles’ shouldn’t be looking to trade for a cornerback either. Let the cornerbacks, who have improved since Training Camp, compete. The defensive line appears dangerous, the Eagles might just be alright.

Get well soon Ronald.

 


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at amfedkiw@yahoo.com. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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