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Cam Jurgens loss is a layered one

CamJurgens2

Photo Credit by Philadelphia Eagles

PHILADELPHIA – It’s not the worst-case scenario but the Philadelphia Eagles are going to be without their starting right guard and backup center for the short term.

Cam Jurgens sprained his foot in Sunday’s 34-31 overtime win over Washington, according to an NFL source, and the injury was described as week-to-week by head coach Nick Sirianni during his Monday press conference.

Sirianni is notorious for not placing timetables on the injuries of his players but he and the organization use designations purposefully.

If Jurgens had a chance to play Sunday in Los Angeles against the Rams, the phrasing would be day-to-day and the Nebraska product is expected to miss a few weeks.

“I would say Cam’s going to be week-to-week. We’ll see. I’ll get you more information as we know more,” Sirianni said.

Jurgens suffered the injury in the second quarter against the Commanders and did not return to the field after the halftime intermission being replaced by Sua Opeta.

Opeta held up well under difficult circumstances against one of the best defensive fronts in the league, playing 43 offensive snaps and grading out very well is pass blocking, according to Pro Football Focus.

Although the Eagles have other options for RG like third-round rookie Tyler Steen and veteran backup Jack Driscoll, a natural right tackle who has played well at RG in the past, Sirianni was intimating that Opeta earned another opportunity.

“I don’t think there’s any secret, I think you see where we lie right now between Sua and Tyler. Sua has been up, and Tyler has been inactive,” Sirianni said. “So, Sua would be that next man up, and I thought he played outstanding yesterday. I mean, outstanding.

“I think we all felt that in the game, and you watch it on tape, and you verify that and confirm that. Even [T] Lane [Johnson] came up to me in the locker room after the game — and Lane played outstanding, also — Lane came up to me after the game and was singing the praises of Sua.”

It gets no easier, however, because Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald had been the league’s best interior defender for years and is a certain future Hall of Famer and one of the NFL’s all-time best defensive players.

Jurgens’ absence is also layered because he’s the backup to Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce and there is no obvious replacement on the 53-man roster other than starting left guard Landon Dickerson, who was an All-American center in college at Alabama.

The Eagles do have two players with experience playing center on the practice squad in Brett Toth and Julian Good-Jones, although the former struggled mightily with shotgun snaps in training camp.

Complicating matters even further is that the Eagles have to burn one of their two allotted practice-squad elevations on punter Braden Mann unless they want to manipulate the roster before Sunday’s game and promote Mann to the 53.

The other domino is that the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that punt returner Britain Covey is in the concussion protocol which means Greg Ward may have to be elevated as well. No player in the entire league has been able to play the next week when placed in the protocol so it’s very unlikely Covey is in the lineup vs. the Rams.

Receivers Olamide Zaccheus and Quez Watkins take reps in practice when it comes to returning punts but neither is nearly as secure as Ward and Watkins had missed the past three games with a hamstring history.

The positive at center is that Kelce has proven to be an ironman and has started 143 consecutive regular-season games, the second-longest active streak among all NFL players to Atlanta’s Jake Matthews (146). Kelce’s streak is also the longest by an NFL center since Casey Wiegmann started 175 straight games from 2001-11.

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