Exploring the Eagles’ in-house options to replace Avonte Maddox

Exploring the Eagles’ in-house options to replace Avonte Maddox originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles are going to be without nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox for a while and possibly for the rest of the 2023 season.

But Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni likes their in-house options to replace him.

“Are we going to miss Avonte? Of course we are,” Sirianni said. “He’s a great football player who has made a lot of plays here. I thought he was playing really good football, really being aggressive. He caused that fumble and then made some really good plays on the perimeter.

“So, we’ll miss his contributions as a teammate and on the field. But we like some of our options.”

Maddox, 27, has been one of the better nickel corners in the NFL but has struggled to stay healthy. He missed significant time last season too with several different injuries. Last year, the Eagles replaced Maddox by first playing Josiah Scott but then eventually by moving C.J. Gardner-Johnson from safety to nickel. Neither of those are options anymore.

“We feel like we have good options in-house to be able to move forward,” Sirianni said. “That’s why we cross-train people, whether that’s a corner, a safety, whether that’s the guys that play nickel.”

The Eagles’ top in-house option behind Maddox coming into training camp would have been third-year cornerback Zech McPhearson. But the former fourth-round pick tore his Achilles during the preseason and is out for the entire 2023 season. That was a hit for the Eagles’ depth in the secondary and their special teams units.

During training camp, McPhearson was clearly the backup nickel. He was taking all the second-team reps and even got first-team reps when Maddox wasn’t on the field. So the Eagles’ depth at this position took a hit before the season even began.

But here’s a look at those top remaining options Sirianni indirectly referenced:

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/exploring-eagles-house-options-replace-110000294.html?src=rss

Author : NBC Sports Philadelphia

Publish date : 2023-09-19 11:00:00

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