The Eagles received some devastating news on the injury, just days before their game against the Tennessee Titans. According to Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports Philadelphia, safety Rodney McLeod had surgery on Thursday morning for a torn MCL, effectively ending his season.
McLeod suffered the injury in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday. On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said that McLeod was still being evaluated and would have an update on him later in the week.
Obviously, later in the week is here and it is not good news for Philadelphia as they are very thin at the free safety position. With McLeod done for the season, the Eagles will have to rely on the combination of veteran Corey Graham and Deiondre’ Hall, who the team acquired from the Bears at the end of the preseason.
In addition to those two guys, the Eagles also could promote Tre Sullivan from the practice squad, who was signed as an undrafted free agent last year out of D2 Shepherd University.
McLeod, 28, has spent three seasons with the Eagles, after spending the previous four with the St. Louis Rams.
Through three games this season, McLeod has played 86.6 percent of defensive snaps, third behind Jalen Mills and Malcolm Jenkins. He also compiled 10 total tackles and four pass deflections.
Since joining the Eagles in 2016 as a free agent, McLeod has started and played in 33 games, while racking up 140 total tackles, 17 pass deflections, six interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
It should be interesting to see if Graham can hold down the fort for the rest of the season. It will be tough as Graham is 33-years-old and has not been a full-time starter since 2016 when he was with the Buffalo Bills.
Who else could the Eagles look at?
If the experiment does not work out with Graham, the Eagles could address the safety spot either in free agency or with a trade. One player that could have been an option for Philly was Eric Reid, but he signed with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.
With no more Reid, the Eagles could look at Mike Mitchell, who recently worked out for the Chicago Bears or Tyvon Branch. Outside of free agents, Philly could also consider making a trade for Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
Everybody knows that Thomas is not happy with his current contract situation and could be had for the right price. The Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs are two teams that have been connected to Thomas, but still no deal as of yet. The Cowboys reportedly offered a second-round pick for Thomas, but the Seahawks turned it down.
However, the Eagles do have two 2019 second-round picks to throw around and as we get closer to the trade deadline, Seattle might not even be in the playoff hunt. That means there is a shot for Philadelphia to make a move to upgrade the position.