Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Fletcher misses practice, says 'I'll be fine'
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles let two young cornerbacks go as part of the roster shuffling made necessary by injuries at other positions. Naturally, with their depth depleted at corner, they have an injured starter at that position.
Bradley Fletcher hyperextended his right knee in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He remained in the game, but experienced swelling Monday and Tuesday and did not take part in practice Tuesday and Wednesday.
With the long-tossing Eli Manning and the New York Giants coming up, that could be a bad sign.
“I’ll have myself together for Sunday,” said Fletcher, who missed the second game of the season with a concussion. “I feel like I’ll be fine.”
When the Eagles and Giants played three Sundays ago, Manning tested the Eagles’ revamped secondary with plenty of deep throws. He completed a 49-yard pass to Hakeem Nicks early, and hit Rueben Randle for a 26-yard touchdown.
“I think it comes with attempts,” Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. “Shots on goal. They threw 11 or 12 deep on us and you're going to hit a couple. Right now, we're averaging 45 passes against us a game, and we're glad that we're keeping all these deep ones off of us. But the Giants threw a lot deep and hit a couple.”
Fletcher, Cary Williams and nickel corner Brandon Boykin give the Eagles three solid cover guys. The only backup corner on the roster right now is Roc Carmichael, a special-teamer who has played only 11 defensive snaps. Safety Patrick Chung, who missed three of the last four games with a shoulder injury, can play nickel corner if needed.
The Eagles waived rookies Jordan Poyer and Shaun Prater in the past week when injuries forced them to create roster space for running back Matthew Tucker and linebacker Emmanuel Acho. Poyer was claimed by Cleveland, Prater by Minnesota.
“All the different injuries that happen to the team affect the bottom of the roster and who is on the practice squad and who is not,” Davis said. “Each week we go into it with a plan of saying, who can step in? Who has played corner? Who hasn't played corner? We train different guys in nickel positions because you always have an issue there that you have to be on top of. So it's a moving target. Every week it changes, and this week we have a couple things we're working on.”