Eagles backup left tackle Andre Dillard will have surgery to repair his fractured forearm on Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday afternoon.
Dillard, 26, fractured his forearm at practice last Thursday. Initial word was that the injury wouldn’t end his season and that’s holding true. But now he needs surgery.
The timetable provided from Rapoport’s report is 4-6 weeks. So Dillard should return sometime in October.
Hopefully, the Eagles won’t need him before then. Despite Dillard’s potential trade value, the Eagles elected to hold on to the former first-round pick for the 2022 season as a backup to starting left tackle Jordan Mailata. Mailata beat out Dillard for the starting left tackle job last training camp and then signed a long-term deal.
Dillard also began the 2020 season with an injury. In fact, he missed the entire 2020 season with a torn biceps, which allowed Mailata to get playing time. That experience eventually helped Mailata take the left tackle job that was supposed to be Dillard’s.
It seems likely the Eagles will place Dillard on Injured Reserve, making him eligible to return later in the season when he’s healthy.
This summer, Dillard talked about the struggle of being a backup despite the feeling that he is a starting caliber player in the NFL.
“I’m not going to lie,” Dillard said after the Eagles’ second preseason game. “It was hard at first. It was a lot. I had to look deep within myself last year and figure out, ‘What are you going to be from here on? How are you going to react to this situation, these cards that you’ve been dealt?’
“I’ve just been seeing every day as a new opportunity to improve and audition myself.”
This season, Dillard is playing on the final year of his rookie contract after the Eagles did not pick up his fifth-year option as a first-round pick. He will become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Without Dillard, the Eagles have questionable depth at the left tackle spot. The only other tackles on the active roster are Jack Driscoll and rookie Josh Sills. Driscoll is better suited to play right tackle and Sills has zero NFL experience.
But the Eagles also have Le’Raven Clark and Kayode Awosika on their practice squad. It seems very possible Clark will get called up to be the backup left tackle while Dillard is out.
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