Eagles slot corner Avonte Maddox has a “significant” toe injury and is out indefinitely, according to a report from Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
Maddox got hurt in the second quarter of the Eagles’ loss to the Cowboys Saturday at AT&T Stadium and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Josiah Scott.
According to Rapoport and Garafolo, Maddox had an MRI Monday morning that revealed the extent of the damage. Maddox was seen in the Eagles’ locker room post-game in a walking boot.
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That’s two major injuries for the Eagles in their costly loss to their biggest rival. The Eagles blew two 10-point leads before losing 40-34 with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported earlier Monday that four-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson is out for at least the rest of the regular season with an abdominal injury.
Maddox, a 4th-round pick in 2018, is one of the NFL’s best slot corners when healthy, but his career has been marred by several injuries. He’s missed 19 games since his rookie year, and this is his third significant injury this year.
Scott has not played well, but the Eagles don’t have a lot of other realistic options to replace Maddox.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who has played a ton of slot in the past, is eligible to return Sunday for a game against the Saints, his former team. He’s missed the last four games with a lacerated kidney, but he remains on Injured Reserve and there’s been no indication yet that he might be ready to play this weekend. If he does return, he could move back into the slot and Reed Blankenship, who’s started in his place, could remain at safety.
And if he is, would Jonathan Gannon want to move him to a new position when he was the NFL interception leader at safety? Despite missing the last four games, he still shares the NFL interception lead.
Cre’Von LeBlanc, who was a very good slot for the Eagles from 2018 through 2020, is not currently on a roster and tweeted last week that he’s healthy and available. He was most recently with the Raiders in training camp.
Zech McPhearson has backed up the two outside corner spots but doesn't have experience in the slot. Reed Blankenship has filled in for Gardner-Johnson at safety, and there is some overlap between the slot and safety in Jonathan Gannon's scheme, but it's hard to imagine moving an undrafted rookie with limited experience to a new position at this point.
The Eagles, 13-2, will clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye with a win over the Saints Sunday at the Linc or the Giants the following Sunday at the Linc.
If they do, their next meaningful game wouldn't be until the weekend of Jan. 21-22.
Maddox has suffered seven significant injuries that have cost him multiple games in his five NFL seasons.
In his rookie year, he missed three games after suffering a knee injury in a game against the Saints at the Superdome.
In 2019, he missed four games after suffering a concussion and neck injury after a violent collision with teammate Andrew Sendejo during a game against the Packers at Lambeau Field.
In 2020, he missed three games with an ankle injury suffered in a game against the Bengals at the Linc and then the last three games of the season with a knee injury suffered against the Saints.
Maddox didn’t have any major injuries last year, but this year he missed two games in October after hurting his ankle in the first Washington game. He returned to play three games, then missed four more after injuring his hamstring in Houston. He played against the Giants and Bears before getting hurt again Saturday in Dallas.