PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles reportedly suffered another major loss as Derek Barnett will have shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first with the report. The Eagles have not confirmed it as of Tuesday afternoon. If, as presumed, Barnett goes on injured reserve, that would make eight key players on the injured list (only two can be brought back once they miss eight weeks).
Barnett, the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2017, had 2.5 sacks this season in six games. He reportedly suffered a torn rotator cuff against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 30. Barnett missed the next game against Minnesota.
He did play the next two games, against the Giants and then on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. But apparently, the shoulder was too severe for him to continue.
[5 Eagles who need to play better for a playoff run, starting with Nelson Agholor]
[Report: Eagles lose a bidding war to Cowboys for Raiders’ WR Amari Cooper]
[Eagles’ Pederson gets testy over play calling after blowing big lead vs. Panthers]
Barnett had five sacks last season, the most for an Eagles’ rookie since Fletcher Cox had 5.5 in 2012. In the playoffs, he had a strip sack against the Vikings in the NFC Championship game, and he recovered a fumble caused by Brandon Graham’s strip sack of New England’s Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.
Barnett’s loss hurts the Eagles in two ways.
First, he was the starting defensive end, and played close to 60 percent of the snaps this season, more than any other defensive end except for Graham.
Secondly, Barnett’s presence on passing downs enabled the Eagles to move Michael Bennett inside to defensive tackle, where the Eagles are also shorthanded with Tim Jernigan on non-football injury list and Destiny Vaeao on IR.
The Eagles are left with Graham, Bennett, Chris Long and rookie Josh Sweat at defensive end. Sweat has played 15 snaps this season. That will certainly increase now.
At defensive tackle, the Eagles’ lack of depth has meant that All-Pro Fletcher Cox has had to play more than 80 percent of the snaps this season, a career high.
That won’t change now. The two other tackles who split time Sunday were Treyvon Hester and Bruce Hector.
As Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz put it: “This week (at defensive tackle), it was Fletch and two guys who at different points on the year were on the practice squad.”
Schwartz had his press conference before the report came out about Barnett.
Donnel Pumphrey returns
The Eagles brought back running back Donnel Pumphrey, their fourth-round pick in 2017. The Eagles released him at the end of the preseason. He spent some time with the Detroit Lions on the practice squad. He was eventually released.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.
[Midseason rankings: Top 75 players in Delaware high school football]
[CAA honors Adderley, Reeder after Delaware win at New Hampshire]
[Wilmington City Council approves Salesianum deal to lease, renovate Baynard Stadium]