Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Jordan Mailata is likely to miss the preseason finale. Is there more to his injury?
This week, Philadelphia Eagles fans from all over got suspicious when backup right tackle Jordan Mailata missed practice on Monday. After Mailata played in a majority of the Eagles’ snaps during the first three weeks of preseason, he was suddenly absent for undisclosed reasons this week.
Being that Mailata has emerged as a solid blocker, and the Houston Texans are still looking to trade defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, rumors fired up that Mailata could potentially be dealt. Considering that the Houston Texans could use another lineman, Mailata going there sort of makes sense. However, Doug Pederson shot down that idea on Tuesday.
According to the Eagles head coach, Mailata is in fact, dealing with an injury. Being that it is preseason, Pederson didn’t need to go into details — but he did specify it as a lower-back injury. So Mailata missed practice on Tuesday, and it seems like he will be absent on Wednesday as well.
In order to add some depth, the Eagles signed former North Texas lineman, Riley Mayfield on Wednesday further indicating that Mailata is most likely not going to play on Thursday. For a roster hopeful, that’s a discouraging sign, but at this point, the former seventh-round pick has proved himself to be an intriguing prospect for the future once again.
It is in the Eagles best interest to hold onto Mailata for depth and development purposes, but are they going to want to fill a spot on the final roster with him? Last season, Mailata’s development blew up so much that the Eagles couldn’t risk waiving him in an attempt to get him on the practice squad. This year, they are in the same position. However, with an injury looming, there is another way to keep him on board.
Mailata to the Injured Reserve?
We’ve seen a situation like this in the past. During the 2017 season, the Eagles didn’t get much out of their fourth-round running back, Donnel Pumphrey. They figured he wouldn’t clear through waivers. Therefore they kept him on the final 53-man roster.
Suddenly, Pumphrey would get ruled out for a hamstring injury though, putting him on the Injured Reserve and opening up a spot on the roster for depth elsewhere. Now with Mailata, the Eagles could do the same thing. The Eagles haven’t made it clear how severe Mailata’s back injury is, though.
However, with final cuts coming up this weekend, they could open up a spot without actually waiving Mailata in an attempt to keep him on the practice squad. Considering there is no immediate need for Mailata, there is a realistic chance the Birds could just allow him to make final cuts, but stash him on the IR to ensure he’s still within the organization.