The Philadelphia Eagles have a massive problem on their hands.
Just when you thought the team had everything they needed in efforts to make a deep playoff push the inevitable occurs.

While injuries are a part of the game and it’s no secret that the Eagles have been one of the most injury-riddled teams in the league dating back to their 2017 Super Bowl run. So given the nature of in which injuries have occurred, Howie Roseman emphasized added depth at just about every skilled position, so that the loss of a few players wouldn’t hamper the team’s chances. However, in what could be considered nothing but a miscalculation, Roseman failed to add depth to the unit that could arguably be considered the most important on the team, the offensive line.

Surely this was no accident. Honestly, how could you blame him? Sure you lost your most versatile offensive lineman in Halapoulivaati Vaitai. However, the Eagles offensive line features three all-pro players, a player who’s Pro Football Focus grade was above 70% and didn’t allow a single sack through the eight games he played and a first-round pick. A unit that has been among the best in the league for a while now. Roseman even had insurance policies for every player along that line with the exception of Jason Kelce.

Should something happen to Johnson, Brooks, Seumalo?

Matt Pryor would be the first man up, as he has prior work at the right tackle spot and both guard positions, including playing extensive snaps to finish the 2019 season. Should Andre Dillard get hurt or severely struggles, well Roseman had the wild card. The Bodyguard, a 9-time pro bowler, and two-time all-pro. Jason Peters, who was said to have turned down other offers to return in hopes of returning to Philadelphia. It looked as if Roseman had it all figured out, right?

Photo: David Maialetti

So when you insert season-ending injuries to both Brandon Brooks and Andre Dillard, Philadelphia should have been in a good position right? And yet somehow, we’ve ended up here where Matt Pryor has been taking first-team snaps at left tackle. While Jason Peters is settling in at right guard. Quite baffling when you think about it. If you’re Philadelphia how the Eagles are essentially teaching veteran players to play new positions instead of moving them into the spots they’re most comfortable in?

Why don’t they just switch them you ask? Well we’ve asked the same thing and according to Doug Pederson:

“Peters has done an outstanding job at right guard, he’s comfortable at right guard. We’ve got some options at left tackle that we’re working through over there.”

Howie Roseman also echoed this same sentiment when NBC Sports’ John Clark asked about the prospects of moving Peters back to his original position.

For $ome rea$on or another, the Eagles brass expects the general public to believe that a 15-year starter at the left tackle position is better suited for a role at right guard. Age could be an excuse if Roseman didn’t emphasize the abilities in which Peters is still able to move at this age and the last two representatives of the NFC in the Super Bowl didn’t have tackles that were at least 35 years of age.

Well if Philadelphia’s brass didn’t know that the general public understood that money was the reason behind all of this, the reports that Peters has stated that he will not move to left tackle unless he gets a pay raise, all be ensured those thoughts.

While Pederson tried to downplay the reports in his recent press conference, however, his answers sounded more like damage control than confirmations of false reports.

Meanwhile while using “continuity” as their basis, the Eagles are killing the confidence of the player that was supposed to be the most important depth piece along the offensive line. Which sucks because Pryor has proven to be an ideal depth piece along the offensive line for Philadelphia.

While Pederson could be right and maybe Pryor is able to settle into the left tackle spot, like he’s been able to with just about every other spot along the offensive line.

When you see that reporters are acknowledging how Josh Sweat has developed into Reggie White reincarnated, at the expense of Pryor, it certainly doesn’t look ideal.

Should Pryor not work out and Philadelphia decides to keep Peters at the right guard position. Pederson mentioned Jordan Mailata, the seventh-round draft pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and former professional rugby player, who has been more of a project if anything over the last three seasons.

Pederson also mentioned the fourth-round pick from this year’s draft, Jack Driscoll, who started 45 career games during his time at Auburn and only allowed two quarterback hits on 837 snaps in pass protection.

While the Eagles aren’t short on options at the left tackle position and Pederson reiterated the valuable experience provided to younger players with more reps:

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate with Andre and his injury, but we can, again, bring somebody in here to help. If it’s a veteran player, we’ll look that way, too, but these guys have — Matt Pryor has played games. Don’t mistake that. He’s played games. He’s started for us and he’s played in some big situations, and so we’re going to lean on that. At some point, we’ve got to trust our players, right, and as coaches, we trust our guys.”

This begs the question, is allowing young players to gain experience essentially worth compromising the entirety of Philadelphia’s 2020 season?

It’s widely known the cap situation that Philadelphia is as of the 2021 season. Part of the reason the Eagles are in this position is that their franchise quarterback. Carson Wentz has a $34.6m cap hit, steaming from his $128m contract extension set to kick in that season. However, if both Roseman and Peterson plan on seeing their investment make it into the see next season, maybe they should do everything in their power to protect it.

While the coaching staff may not want to “disrupt too many positions with that offensive line”, defenses certainly will if Roseman doesn’t do something in a hurry.
And with opening day just over a week away, time is running short on Roseman to make this decision.

Featured Image: Michael Bryant/The Inquirer
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