Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached a sad yet inevitable end to another “Next Dawkins” chapter in the City of Brotherly Love. After battling a knee injury throughout most of his tenure with the team, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to waive safety Earl Wolff, according to Tim McManus of Birds 24/7.
Now this may come as a surprise to some but the writing was on the wall. Wolff has struggled to return to the field after battling a reoccurring knee injury that his plagued him throughout his tenure with the Birds. Although the safety competition appeared to be wide open earlier in the offseason, Wolff was never even healthy enough to make his pitch for the job. Walter Thurmond has since run away with the job and all Wolff could do was watch from the sidelines.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has been especially harsh of his criticism of Wolff in Philadelphia, even openly questioning his toughness at times as well. There was a war of words between the two back in June, which made for quite an awkward situation. Jeff McLane of Philly.com covered the exchange a few months back:
"“He’s been cleared from Dr. [James] Andrews a couple weeks ago,” Kelly said on Tuesday, “but it’s what he can tolerate.”Wolff had a different interpretation.“He didn’t clear me to come out here and be 100 percent,” Wolff said of Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon who has been the go-to guy for pro athletes’ injuries. “He cleared me to kind of push it. So it’s not like, ‘OK, Earl, now you’re cleared to go out there and run full speed.’ Because, when he cleared me, I was still kind of in the middle of my rehab.”"
It’s rare for a coach to be so blunt about a player’s injury status, especially Kelly since he’s usually secretive when it comes to that stuff. He just seemed fed up with Wolff and the team finally decided to cut ties with the former fifth-round pick. The situation reached it’s breaking point and the Eagles couldn’t waste the roster spot any longer.
I’m sure it also helped that second-year safety Ed Reynolds had a breakout performance against the Colts last Sunday and safety Jerome Couplin is finally healthy and back on the field as well. It’s unfortunate to see a player’s tenure end as Wolff’s has in Philadelphia but maybe he needs to take sometime away from football. After all, he did have the following to say to Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com earlier this week:
"“It’s just been getting worse and worse every day,” Wolff said to NJ Advance Media. “It got to the point where I couldn’t walk after practice.”"
That’s a sad situation to be in for Wolff but his release from the Eagles may be best for both sides. Kelly certainly wasn’t a fan of his and it may be time to just focus on his health for a while and not rush back to the field. Now the Eagles will have to move forward with Reynolds, Couplin and others battling it out for the back-up safety spots.
It’ll be interesting to see if another team will pick-up Wolff and just store him on their injured reserve for a season. The Eagles will also be looking to add a player to fill Wolff’s spot as well. Be sure to check back here at Inside The Iggles for all the latest news, analysis and more!
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