Fletcher Cox won’t be involved when his Philadelphia Eagles play the New York Giants this Sunday but it’s only because he needs to be rested, according to the team.
Cox, who was drafted by the Eagles in 2012, has had a few struggles with injuries over the years, having seemed indestructible for a long time, but fans will be glad to know that, should the 7-7 Eagles make the playoffs, he should be around to throw his weight around.
He was sidelined with oblique and neck injuries last year and it was said that the Eagles did not pay enough attention. Fortunately, there were no serious legal ramifications for the organization.
This December, the defensive tackle is raring to go and, last week, sent a message to his teammates telling the ones who might not be in the know as it pertains to what Decembers are like in the NFL.
The six-time Pro Bowl star and 2017 Super Bowl champ has been in the league for 10 years and knows how important it is to win games in the last month of the regular season.
“December is so important to me,” he said last Thursday. “I’ve tried to stress to a lot of guys in the room, to the team, how important the month of December is.
“Whatever happened earlier in the season, I think people forget that, but you go into December knowing how important it is. Especially for this team, knowing how important it is, you’ve just gotta keep stressing that. Just kind of beat it into their brains and make them believe it. The veterans that have been around, the guys that have been around the league know what December means.
“You can’t fake the energy. You can’t fake the intensity. Control everything, your emotions, and just put it all out on the field.”
Philadelphia had to make late dashes to the playoffs in 2018 and 2019. They swept four games across the NFC East to win the division in 2019 so some of the squad members have had experiences in different situations heading into the postseason.
“Know how important it is. Know that this is a playoff game. Knowing that this is a division game. Knowing that this is the first time seeing The Football Team,” Cox continued. “No matter what they’re going through, they’ll show up to play. Coach (Ron) Rivera will have them ready to play. The main thing is just staying focused, having everybody hone in on what they’re supposed to do as far as game plan-wise and just transferring from today’s practice to tomorrow’s practice and taking it to Sunday.”
The Giants hardly present as much of a threat as the Washington Football team, who the Eagles will play on January 2. The Football Team’s clash with the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday will likely be a decider for the division. The challenge could be a pretty different one when Philly meets Washington early next year. Sport betting in PA will favor the Eagles, though, with the Eagles coming out on top of a previous matchup.
Washington has key players injured and plenty more on the Reserve/COVID-19 list but they’re no pushovers.
“I think these last few weeks have shown what type of team we can be, what type of defense we can be if we stick to what we’re doing,” Cox said.
The Eagles won’t have head coach Nick Sirianni on the sidelines when they play this weekend as he’s tested positive for COVID-19. The team announced as much on Wednesday, noting Sirianni was feeling symptomatic.
“Coach Sirianni will conduct his responsibilities remotely and remains hopeful to return by Sunday,” the Eagles said.
“I wasn’t feeling great this morning when I woke up and just got tested, and obviously we are where we are right now,” Sirianni told reporters. “The rest of the week I’ll be in every meeting, obviously virtually.”
This comes in the wake of the Eagles beating Washington in a game that had been pushed back because of a coronavirus outbreak within the Football Team. Washington played with a quarterback signed just days earlier and was missing several other starters due to infections.
There are fears the Eagles could see more positive tests given Sirianni’s status. Temple Health’s Dr. Delana Wardlaw doesn’t reckon it would not come as a surprise.
“There’s a good likelihood that the other players have been exposed, particularly if they weren’t wearing masks, depending on vaccination status,” Wardlaw said.
“It’s almost impossible to protect everyone from contacting COVID. So, the best defense here is we do want to mask. We do want to make sure we’re testing so we can identify those who have a positive test. But again, the most effective thing that we can do is vaccination,” added Wardlaw.
For now, the injury list is as follows:
• T Le’Raven Clark (Illness) – Clark was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.
• DT Fletcher Cox (Rest) – Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon said Cox was the player of the game on Tuesday.
• C Jason Kelce (Rest)
• T Jordan Mailata (Ankle) – This will be an injury to monitor through the rest of the week, especially with Clark and Andre Dillard both on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
It remains to be seen who will be available for sure on Sunday.