By Kevin McGuire
As the Philadelphia Eagles head back to work this Sunday in Arizona, they will do so with the possibility of the offensive line getting a bit stronger. It is unknown whether or not running back Darren Sproles or linebacker Mychal Kendricks will be available this weekend. Both players are listed are questionable for Sunday’s afternoon game against the Arizona Cardinals out west.
Sproles is still working through a minor knee injury that could have been much more threatening to his availability. The Eagles limited what Sproles did in practice this week, although the running back complement to LeSean McCoy did go through the team’s walkthrough on Friday. Another running back, Chris Polk (hamstring), looks to be much more optimistic for playing time this weekend. Polk was available for full practices this week and could be ready to return to the special teams unit for returns this weekend. If Sproles is limited or unavailable Sunday, Polk could see some time when McCoy needs a break.
Center Jason Kelce is officially listed as questionable for this weekend’s game as he battles back from a hernia injury, and his return may be more likely to come in the next few weeks after being limited in practice this past week. Guard Evan Mathis will not be available to play for a couple more weeks, but he did return to practicing with the team this week in a limited capacity. Mathis continues to bounce back from an MCL injury that is not expected to keep him out for the season.
The Eagles could use some help on defense this weekend as the Cardinals have some offensive weapons to work with. Kendricks was limited in practice all week, but did go through the full Friday routine before the team got ready to fly out to Arizona. It might be a surprise to see him play this weekend, but he appears to be on track to returning in the next couple of weeks. His mentor on the team, DeMeco Ryans (groin), is officially listed as probable to play this weekend. Ryans was available for full practices all week after the bye week, which should be seen as good news for the Eagles defense. Expect the Eagles to continue giving playing time to Emmanuel Acho to fill the void left my Kendricks. Casey Matthews should also get some snaps as well as the Eagles continue to patch the linebacker position until Kendricks returns.
Backup cornerback Jaylen Watkins (wrist) is probable this weekend as well and took part in full practices to close out the week. He should be available if needed.
Only one Eagles player is officially ruled out for Sunday afternoon. Wide receiver Brad Smith is still working through a nagging groin injury. He sat out of practices all week and will not play this weekend.
RB Chris Polk (hamstring)
LB DeMeco Ryans (groin)
CB Jaylen Watkins (wrist)
C Jason Kelce (hernia)
LB Mychal Kendricks (calf)
RB Darren Sproles (knee)
WR Brad Smith (groin)
For more Eagles news and updates, visit Eagles Central.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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