PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles are relatively healthy, both with injuries and with COVID-19 as they try to continue their run to the playoffs in their game Sunday with the New York Giants.
For the Eagles (7-7), it’s a critical game, and not just for revenge against the Giants, who beat the Eagles 13-7 on Nov. 28.
An Eagles victory over the Giants and a Vikings loss to the Los Angeles Rams later Sunday would put the Eagles in sole possession of the NFC’s final playoff spot. Even if the Saints beat the Dolphins on Monday night, the Eagles would hold the tiebreaker based on their 40-29 win over New Orleans on Nov. 21.
FROM BAD TO STILL BAD:From COVID-depleted to talent-depleted, Eagles facing another team with bad QB situation
The Eagles have four players on the COVID-19 list in backup tackles Andre Dillard and Le’Raven Clark, defensive end Ryan Kerrigan and linebacker/special teams player Shaun Bradley.
Left guard Landon Dickerson came off the COVID-19 list Friday, while head coach Nick Sirianni was cleared to return Saturday. Sirianni tested positive on Wednesday and quarantined in a hotel room until Saturday.
The Eagles dodged several bullets to start the game.
The mistakes began on the opening kickoff, when Kenneth Gainwell fumbled, but the Eagles recovered.
On third down, Jalen Hurts’ first pass was ruled an interception at the Eagles’ 32 yard line. But that was overturned after a video review showed the ball hitting the ground as Steven Parker had intercepted it.
On the Eagles’ next possession, Hurts fumbled the ball trying to escape pressure, but the Eagles recovered. Then on 3rd-and-15, Miles Sanders dropped a short pass that likely would have gone for a first down. The Eagles punted again.
If not for the Giants’ offensive struggles, the Eagles would have trailed by a large margin.
As it was, Hurts went 3-for-10 for 11 yards in the first quarter. The Eagles averaged 2.2 yards per play in the first quarter, the Giants 2.8.
Yet the Eagles only trailed 3-0 when Giants kicker Graham Gano hit a 54-yard field goal with 11:41 left in the first half.
Both running back Miles Sanders and left tackle Jordan Mailata didn’t practice from Wednesday through Friday, but are starting Sunday.
But Sirianni said that was more for maintenance than because of any type of injury. Sanders was listed with a quad injury and Mailata with an ankle injury. Both players suffered the injury Tuesday night in the Eagles’ 27-17 win over Washington.
“That’s more so about where we are right now as far as playing on a short week,” Sirianni said. “So, they’ll be ready to go. I’m excited they’re ready to go.”
Sanders has rushed for 251 yards in the last two games.
The Eagles elevated DE Calvin Malveaux and DB Jared Mayden from the practice squad as COVID replacements.
The Eagles’ inactives are QB Reid Sinnett, DB Kary Vincent Jr, CB Tay Gowan and DT Marlon Tuipulotu.
As for the Giants, Jake Fromm will start at quarterback. Daniel Jones was placed on injured reserve last week, and Fromm, who was signed off Buffalo’s practice squad on Dec. 1, replaced an ineffective Mike Glennon last Sunday.
DE native elevated from practice squad
Giants wide receiver David Sills was elevated from the practice squad as a COVID replacement, and was on the game-day roster.
Sills, the Red Lion Christian Academy and Eastern Christian Academy star, has been on the game-day roster for one game this season. That occurred on Oct. 24 against Carolina. He doesn’t have a catch this season.
In addition, running back Gary Brightwell, the St. Georges star, was not on the game-day roster Sunday. Brightwell has played in 13 games this season, primarily on special teams. He has one carry and one reception this season, for 4 and 6 yards, respectively.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.