Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod’s injury news isn’t good

Rodney McLeod #23, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Rodney McLeod #23, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles have lost Rodney McLeod for the season.

As much as we call the NFL a business (and it is), there is an emotional component that comes along with loving and playing the game. Come on. Did you see Fletcher Cox running down the sideline as Miles Sanders sprinted towards the goal line on that 82-yard touchdown run? Philadelphia Eagles fans have never seen Fletcher Cox get that excited about anything.

The Eagles have gotten a shot in the arm, and it was good to see how things played out in Week 14. Unfortunately, as is typical with this team, the good news isn’t present unless there’s some bad news that comes along with it.

On the Monday following Philly’s win in Week 14 versus the New Orleans Saints, according to reports, Eagles safety Rodney McLeod is done for the remainder of the 2020 season due to an ACL tear. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson confirmed the news when speaking to the media on the Monday following Philly’s win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 14.

This is a lot to take in if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

What makes this even sadder is two things. One, the news comes less than a week after McLeod learned that he’s the Eagles’ nomination for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Second, and this might be the worst thing about all of this, this is the second time in three seasons that McLeod’s season has ended with a devastating knee injury.

Though it’s hard to believe this now, McLeod went undrafted in 2012’s NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with the Rams (they were still in Saint Louis at the time) before finding his way to the City of Brotherly Love in 2017 on March 9th of 2016.

He signed a five-year and $35 million contract that included $17 million guaranteed. He helped Philly win their first Vince Lombardi Trophy after the 2017-2018 season. An early third-down stop that he made versus the New England Patriots’ offense led to three points instead of seven. That was also one of the most important and underrated plays of that Super Bowl.

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The next season, he tore his ACL in Week 3 versus the Indianapolis Colts and was placed on the team’s injured reserve following surgery. He had a bounceback year in 2019 and signed a two-year deal on March 25th of 2020, but this is a very concerning turn of events following a non-contact injury, one in which two starters were lost in the same play.

The hope is McLeod will be back for 2021’s opener, but that will depend on how his rehabilitation goes. One thing is certain. He’ll have the total support of his coaches and teammates.