Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told WIP on Tuesday that he is “hoping” tight end Dallas Goedert will be available for the team’s Week 11 matchup against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday.
Goedert is currently in the league’s concussion protocol after taking a brutal hit to the head by Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons after hauling in a 24-yard reception with 5:13 remaining in the first quarter of what eventually would become an Eagles upset victory.
The tight end’s head was lowered while being tripped up before his helmet made contact with the shoulder and helmet of the onrushing Simmons. Goedert was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the day.
While the hit looked suspect, Sirianni was not ready to condemn Simmons.
“I’m not going to question the integrity of the player. I have a lot of respect for Justin Simmons,” Sirianni said Monday. “He’s a really, really good football player, phenomenal tackler. And he showed a lot of good open-field tackles… I think he’s a first-class player and person, as well, of what I know of him. So, I’m not going to ever question that.”
He wasn’t ready to get on the referee’s case, either, for not throwing a flag for the hit.
“The referees have a hard job. We always talk about this in our coach’s office,” Sirianni said. “We have that remote in our hands and we can slow a play down really slow to show what’s happening in that play. They have to make those decisions in a split second with the speed of that game.
“We always want to know about some things that happen in the game with officiating questions so we can teach our guys how to play the game without being penalized.”
Any game without Goedert would be a significant loss for the Eagles. While the 26-year-old was gaining more and more traction within the Eagles’ offense in recent years, he officially took over as the No. 1 tight end after the team dealt Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals.
In nine games this season, he recorded 29 receptions for 429 yards with two touchdowns — which is on pace to shatter previous career highs of 58 catches for 607 yards in 2019.
Goedert previously missed five games in 2020 due to a fractured ankle that landed him on injured reserve