CHICAGO – Dallas Goedert said two weeks ago that he fully expects to be activated off injured reserve this Sunday, the first game in which he is eligible to play.
In fact, Goedert said he was upset the Eagles put him on VC in the first place after he suffered a shoulder injury on Nov. 14.
However, the Eagles missed Saturday’s deadline by not activating Goedert for the game against the Chicago Bears, even though Goedert returned to practice last week. It’s entirely possible that the Eagles gave Goedert an extra week to rehabilitate his shoulder so he’ll be ready for the Eagles’ showdown next Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys.
BALIVA VS. FIELDS:These Eagles have seen Justin Fields play for years in college; will he surpass Jalen Hurts?
Either way, there will be a lot more at stake next week. The Eagles have already clinched a ticket to the playoffs. But if the Eagles win against the Bears on Sunday, or if the Cowboys lose to Jacksonville, then the Eagles can clinch the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs with a win next Saturday against the Cowboys.
Goedert was asked about the possibility of sitting out the 3-10 Bears so as not to risk anything against Dallas.
Goedert did not necessarily believe in this strategy.
“Even though the Bears only had 3 wins, they lost a lot of close games,” he said. “They’re not a bad team, that’s for sure. We’ve got to be ready to go when we get there. Obviously, I definitely want to play in Dallas. But you know, every game is important. When you’re sitting on the sidelines, you want to get back there as soon as possible “.
The game begins at 1 p.m. and will be televised on FOX with Joe Davis, Darryl Johnston and Pam Oliver.
Bad start for Eagles, Hurts
The Eagles had one of their ugliest first quarters of the season on Sunday, but at least they didn’t lose because the defense did a good job of containing Justin Fields.
The Eagles had the ball for just 2 minutes, 10 seconds in the quarter. Jalen Hurts went 1-for-5 with a 21-yard pass with an interception. The finish was a beautiful pass as Hurts rolled to his left and threw it to the sideline, where Smith dove in and caught it with his feet on the rebound.
But on the next play, Hurts rolled to his right and was intercepted on the Bears’ 17th possession.
The Eagles sacked Fields twice in the first quarter. The first, Josh Sweet, gave him a career-high 8.5 points on the season. The Eagles have 51 total sacks on the season, most in the NFL.
Eagles inactive, Bears without top 2 WRs
The Eagles will be without safety Reid Blankenship, who started the previous two games in place of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who is on injured reserve. Blankenship suffered a knee injury.
But the Eagles did not replace Blankenship on the roster because Anthony Harris, who was signed to the practice squad on Thursday, was not promoted to the practice squad. K’Vaughn Wallace is expected to start in place of Blankenship.
Other Eagles inactives are QB Ian Book, RB Trey Sermon, D.E. Janarius Robinson, G. Josh Sills, and G. Sua Opeta.
Meanwhile, the Bears will be without two of their wide receivers, Chase Claypool and N’Kil Harry. The Bears traded for Claypool before the trade deadline in October. He has 12 receptions in 5 games. Harry has 5 catches this season.
3 things I watch
- Hearts vs Fields: This is the most intriguing matchup, as the Bears’ Justin Fields leads all NFL quarterbacks with 905 yards, including a 178-yard game earlier in the season. Earlier this season, the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts rushed for 157 yards. But Hurts is a much more accomplished passer, leading the NFL in passer rating and a 68% completion percentage. It will be interesting to watch how both do their thing.
- Who is security? The Eagles did not give veteran safety Anthony Harris a promotion to the practice squad, meaning Marcus Epps and K’Vaughn Wallace are the only guards on the roster for the game. The Eagles could use Josiah Scott there. But Reid Blankenship, out with a knee injury, missed Wallace as the third safety until Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was injured (he’s still on VC).
- Who is the leader? If you like fast paced stats, this game is for you. At least one player will get over 100 yards, whether it’s Hurts, Fields, Eagles, Miles Sanders or Bears, David Montgomery. After all, these are the two best teams in the NFL. The Bears average 189 yards per game, the Eagles 162.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.