The Week 1 opener versus the Redskins is approaching. It would be wise for the Philadelphia Eagles to prepare as though Fletcher Cox won’t be available.
With the NFL‘s initial week of the regular season approaching, more attention is being paid to the Philadelphia Eagles roster by everybody. Fans want to know who will be playing, or who they should put on the Fantasy team. Coaches are interested in how they should prepare and gameplan. The media is looking to make sure the stories they’re publishing are accurate. One of the biggest storylines all summer has been this. Where is Fletcher Cox?
Last season’s divisional-round loss to the New Orleans Saints was costly. It cost the Eagles a chance to play in the NFC Championship Game for the right to go to the Super Bowl. It also cost them Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. What’s even more agonizing is the fact that those losses are still affecting the Eagles today. Cox isn’t practicing at all, and though some of the theory is Brooks should be ready for Week 1, fans are hoping he won’t be rushed.
Each question about why Cox wasn’t on the field was, for the most part, answered the same way, he’s in the building and rehabbing. There’s never been a reason to disbelieve that, but with one more game remaining on the preseason slate and with the September 8th approaching rapidly, some are starting to worry.
Will Cox be ready for Week 1? Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has told us that he would be, but his body language during his Sunday press conference seems to state that he may not believe that. His coordinators, Mike Groh and Jim Schwartz spoke with the Philly media on Monday. Here’s some of what Schwartz had to say.
"He’s a veteran player and he’s been around… The main thing is making sure he’s healthy and in shape and focused. I know he’s focused and he’s driving with all the other things. We’ll see where he gets."
That creates another concern. Even if Cox does play, it doesn’t mean he’ll be the Cox we know and expect him to be. Foot injuries can be tough. Jalen Milles suffered one in London a season ago, and we haven’t seen him on the field since (and we don’t know when he will be available either).
We’re all hopeful that Cox will be ready sooner rather than later. For now, Philly should be prepared to gameplan as if he won’t be, and maybe they should even consider relying on the other guys, like Malik Jackson and Timmy Jernigan to carry them through Week 1.
Cox is worth every penny of what the Eagles are paying him. His value is almost immeasurable. He shouldn’t be rushed or put in a position where he can risk further injury and, then, be placed on the sideline for an even longer period of time. Philly’s taking their time with this one, and they’re right to do so. Cox’s long-term future far outweighs his value in a single game. With that being said, don’t be surprised if you don’t see ’91’ on the field for a few more weeks.