The productivity, or lack thereof, of the defensive line
Going into this season, on paper, the Eagles appeared to have the best defensive line. It also seemed like they had a backup defensive line that could start on any other team as well. Between Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett, Chris Long, Haloti Ngata, Destiny Vaeao, Derek Barnett and Tim Jernigan. Then, things changed when Jernigan mysteriously injured his back, requiring a surgery. Since the beginning of the season, the Eagles defense has been painful to watch. This monstrous defensive line has been unproductive in the pass rush and also in the run game. Now, 10 games into the season, the Eagles have activated Jernigan off of the non-football related injury list. What does this mean for the Eagles going forward?
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 20, 2018
The mystery behind Jernigan’s injury
Obviously, we are not in the locker room or coaches meetings. We aren’t exactly sure what happened to Jernigan. We know it was a non-football related injury. And from the way it’s been talked about, it seems as if he was doing something that he really shouldn’t have been. It also might have been something he wasn’t supposed to be doing. Following the injury, the team also reworked Jernigan’s newly signed contract, alluding to concerns for his long-term health due to the injury.
He hadn’t been around the team really and honestly, he seemed pretty forgotten about until the productivity of the defensive line began to decline.
How can Jernigan’s return impact the defensive line?
At this point, anything could impact the defensive line positively. Last year one of the biggest problems for opposing offensive was the challenge of blocking Cox and Jernigan as well as two defensive ends. Both Cox and Jernigan at times drew double teams. This lead to Jim Schwartz calling more blitzes due to an increase in holes to the quarterback. The return of Jernigan to the defensive line could help with just that. Jernigan is extremely disruptive in both pass and run games, so he could have an immediate impact, assuming he is game ready. Last year, Jernigan had 31 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Let’s hope he returns to form.
Tim Jernigan activated
Should help run defense that has given up over 170 rushing yards in 2 straight games for the first time in 12 years
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) November 20, 2018
The season has taken a turn for the worse and it will be extremely hard for this team to bounce back from a 41 point loss. Hopefully, Jernigan can provide a spark to the defense and get some pressure on Eli Manning on Sunday. Welcome back Timmy, let’s go to work.