Injuries are overshadowing the good news from Philadelphia Eagles camp.
If you follow the Philadelphia Eagles, you might have noticed that most of the conversations surrounding this team are about injuries. It’s understandable. This team has been decimated with less than ten days away from the season opener.
Sure, we talk about how good the receivers have looked, but not as often as we discuss how many will be available for their Week 1 matchup against the Washinton Football Team. Rather than talking about how precise quarterback Carson Wentz has been, we find ourselves discussing his soft tissue injury.
With so many players missing practice, it’s easy to get flustered. There are, however, a few positives that have come out of Eagles camp, and quite a few center around guys we weren’t discussing as much during the early days of the Summer.
Jalen Mills has exceeded the Philadelphia Eagles expectations.
No one wants to see players go down with injuries, but there’s a silver lining in seeing the ‘next man up’ thrive when given the chance to shine. Then there’s defensive tackle Malik Jackson. He should be fun to watch now that he’s finally healthy. The same can be said for Corey Clement. What about Josh Sweat. How might he do in an expanded role?
Jalen Mills looks to successfully make the switch to safety after playing cornerback during his first four years in the NFL. Although he isn’t stealing the headlines, he’ll play a key role next to Rodney McLeod in the backend of Philadelphia’s defense this season. The ‘Birds’ gave the ‘Green Goblin’ a one-year, prove-it deal in the offseason, and he’s expected to fill the void left by Malcolm Jenkins.
The man who wore the ’27’ jersey left the team rather unceremoniously. Mills will need to become a leader for Jim Schwartz. In camp, he never looked out of place while playing his new position. Never was there talk about moving him back to cornerback, so he’s heading into Week 1 with a ton of expectations. He should be fine though.
Leadership is more difficult than quantify than let’s say, snagging interceptions, but there some actions that are indicative of a good one. Pushing others to become better and helping others are some of the things Jenkins was known for, that and never coming off of the field, but as important as the veteran’s on-field contributions were, the intangibles were much more crucial. They will be for Mills as well.
How effective will Jalen Mills be in his new role on and off the field? At the time of this story being published, we are seven days away from finding out. He’s no longer ‘the cornerback moving to play safety’. He’ll be evaluated as aa safety and leader now. Week 1 versus Washington will go a long way in providing us with some answers.