Philadelphia Eagles Reserves To Face Indianapolis Colts

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Sep 7, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tackle

Jason Peters

(71), center

David Molk

(63), center

Jason Kelce

(62), guard

Todd Herremans

(79) and tackle

Andrew Gardner

(66) during game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jaguars, 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Reserves To Face Indianapolis Colts

Going into 2014, there were some areas of concern for the Philadelphia Eagles.  One of the greatest concerns was the depth of the team.   In 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles were fortunate on the injury front.   Despite losing wide receivers Jeremy Maclin, Arrelious Benn, and special teams linebacker Jason Phillips to season ending ACL’s before the season started, once the season was underway, the team remained relatively healthy.

However, the script for 2014 has already undergone one major revision.   With starting right tackle Lane Johnson suspended for four games, the team began the season knowing reserve lineman Allen Barbre would be starting in his place.  So the team went into the game with two reserve offensive linemen eligible:  reserve center David Molk and reserve guard Andrew Gardner.  Then the unthinkable happened.

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In a very unusual injury, Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis suffered a strained MCL which brought reserve Andrew Gardner into the game.   Shortly thereafter, right tackle Allen Barbre would suffer an ankle injury.   Now forced to plug two holes, the Eagles countered with moving Gardner to the right tackle spot and sliding center David Molk into the left guard slot.    Any additional injuries to the offensive line would have necessitated moving tight end Brent Celek into the line and rearranging to align the best configuration.  Fortunately, the Eagles did not suffer any additional injuries.

Now fast forward to the second week of the 2014 NFL season.   On Monday Night Football, the team will be tested on the road.   And the question on the minds of fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, can these  reserves  face the Indianapolis Colts and will they “Win The Day”?  Heading into the season, you might not have thought so.   The Eagles offensive line was maturing, and with fewer draft picks than the shopping list had for the draft, the team found itself shopping for essential linemen in the undrafted free agent market.    As a result, the team signed offensive tackle Kevin Graf from the University of  Southern California, offensive guard Josh Andrews from Oregon State University,offensive tackle Donald Hawkins from the University of Texas, and offensive guard Karim Burton from Morgan State University.   While Andrews and Graf were cut, they later resigned to the practice squad.  Meanwhile Hawkins and Burton were also cut during roster moves by the Eagles, both were picked up by the Cleveland Browns.    Therefore, the early grade on these signings is very positive.   Added to that the Eagles had returning offensive tackles Dennis Kelly and Allen Barbre, and offensive guard Matt Tobin, and newcomers and off-season acquisitions center David Molk and offensive lineman Andrew Gardner.   The Eagles offensive line has truly become a hodge-podge of players from nearly everywhere.

Let’s take a look at the Eagles offensive line matchups: