Eagles will be without several key starters against Vikings on Thursday Night Football originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles will be without several key starters as they host the Vikings in their home opener on Thursday night at the Linc.
Kenny Gainwell (ribs), James Bradberry (concussion) and Reed Blankenship (ribs) have all been ruled out for the game.
Fletcher Cox (ribs) is officially listed as questionable.
The Eagles will also be without starting middle linebacker Nakobe Dean (foot), who was placed on Injured Reserve earlier this week. Dean will miss at least four weeks.
Bradberry suffered a concussion in the second half against the Patriots and on a short week it was always going to be tough for him to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol. The Eagles will start second-year cornerback Josh Jobe in his place.
Jobe made the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2022 and took on a special teams role. This summer, Jobe beat out Greedy Williams, Kelee Ringo and Eli Ricks to be the Eagles’ top backup outside cornerback. He had an impressive summer and the Eagles trust him. But in this game, it’ll be a tough matchup as the Eagles face Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison.
While he made the team as an undrafted player last year, Blankenship played well enough that when Marcus Epps and C.J. Gardner-Johnson left in free agency, the Eagles made Blankenship a full-time starter. And he did some good things in Week 1 against the Patriots.
The Eagles started Justin Evans next to Blankenship in the opener but got Terrell Edmunds some snaps. Then only other safety on the roster is third-round pick Sydney Brown from Illinois. Blankenship played well in the opener and the Eagles will clearly miss him.
Gainwell got the start in Week 1 and played by far the most in the running back rotation. He got 41 snaps and had 18 touches. Meanwhile, D’Andre Swift got just two touches.
So it looks like Swift will have a much bigger role for the Eagles in Week 2. And expect that Rashaad Penny will see his first action after being a healthy scratch in the opener.
Even though Cox, 32, left Sunday’s opener early, it seems likely he’s going to play in this one. Cox is extremely tough and durable and it probably doesn’t get noticed enough. He rarely misses games.
And Cox played very well in the season opener against the Patriots and played the most snaps in that DT rotation with 50.
For the Vikings, they have ruled out starting center Garrett Bradbury with a back injury. Meanwhile, starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw (ankle) and starting edge rusher Marcus Davenport (ankle) are both questionable.
Without Bradbury the middle of the Vikings’ offensive line should be even weaker going against the Eagles’ tough defensive tackle rotation.
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