Possible Eagles contingency plans if Andre Dillard misses extended time

Andre Dillard #77, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Andre Dillard #77, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Here’s an interesting conversation that can be tossed back and forth for fun. As talented as the Philadelphia Eagles roster is, both on the field and on paper, we’ve known something for a while. If there’s an unforeseen injury at two or three positions, the quality of play could change dramatically. Then again, in a league governed partially by a salary cap, that’s every team’s problem.

Thanks to the always appreciated efforts of NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, we’ve learned that Andre Dillard is injured. Sure, he’s a backup, but the importance of depth along the offensive line can’t be overstated. Good offensive tackles can be, at times, difficult to find.

The Eagles can always make a call to some familiar faces, but their best bet may be to elevate Le’Raven Clark or Kayode Awosika from the practice squad. If they’re intrigued by a possible free-agent addition, there are options there as well. Here are the names of a handful of guys that fall under that umbrella.

Be forewarned. You won’t like all of them.

Here are a few notable free agents the Eagles may be able to land for a discounted price.

There aren’t a ton of guys that make sense for this team in free agency, but we did some digging anyway. Here are some names that deserve a mention.

Ty Nsekhe

Well, this one won’t be inexpensive as far as reserve tackles go, but he is interesting. Something seems fishy seeing about Ty Nsekhe however.

He played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, but when in need, they elected to work a broken-down Jason Peters out. Place his name on the list, but place a huge asterisk beside it.

Yasir Durant

After learning the Patriots’ way in 2021, Yasir Durant was sent packing after his second one-and-done campaign in as many seasons. He’s inexpensive though. It’s doubtful the Birds will have interest, but he is an option.

Korey Cunningham

Here’s another former Patriot who spent the 2021 NFL season as a member of the rival New York Giants. In four NFL seasons, he’s appeared in 30 games with six starts on his resume (none with a bad Giants line last season.

Julie’n Davenport

Here’s someone you may want to ignore unless there’s an extreme emergency. Julie’n Davenport does have some experience though having played for five seasons and starting 33 of 61 career games. That includes a playoff appearance.

Tyrell Crosby

We’re getting into some very inexpensive options here. Tyrell Crosby could come with a lower price tag, and he’s seen 18 career starts in 38 games.

Dennis Kelly

Speaking of right tackles… We placed Dennis Kelly’s name on the list because we know him, but inserting him into the lineup means you still have to find someone to play on the left side because he’s more of a right tackle. We did see the Birds do something similar recently as they moved Jordan Mailata over to the right side, but that was because the plan was to start Andre Dillard on the left.

On the other hand, maybe the only reason we brought Kelly up was that we’re still feeling the effects of a trade that sent him packing. The Philadelphia Eagles, after drafting Dennis in 2012, traded him to the Tennessee Titans in 2016 for wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

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DGB played 15 games with seven starts in an Eagles jersey and caught 36 passes for 392 yards and two touchdowns. Kelly is still arguably a serviceable reserve that has appeared in 84 games with 36 starts since leaving the City of Brotherly Love.

He’s also played in seven postseason games. You do the math on that one.