In case things couldn’t get much worse for the Philadelphia Eagles, they lost two key contributors during Sunday’s 38-29 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon when cornerback Darius Slay and offensive lineman Lane Johnson left early.
On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson provided updates on both players, revealing that Slay is in concussion protocol while Johnson is getting a second opinion on the ankle that he already had surgery on during training camp.
“Darius Slay is in the concussion protocol right now, so obviously, can’t comment any further on that,” Pederson said. “Medically, we’re waiting on a second opinion, so there’s some reports still coming in on Lane, so I don’t have any update yet with him.”
In order for Slay to play in Week 6 against the dangerous Baltimore Ravens, he’ll have to pass the necessary steps of the concussion protocol to gain clearance.
His availability will be vital for the Eagles if they have any slim chance of shutting down Lamar Jackson. Slay has been the team’s best shutdown corner throughout his first five games with the team since being acquired from the Detroit Lions, racking up 27 tackles, two tackles for loss, and three pass breakups.
As for Johnson, the Eagles were able to get him back for four games after missing the season opener while recovering from that ankle surgery in August.
He previously noted that the procedure was going to clear up any lingering issues, which leaves room for skepticism after he left after 39 snaps on Sunday.
Pederson also added there was hope that wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery could return to practice this week after missing Week 5.
Jackson is dealing with a hamstring problem while Jeffery is battling illness and foot issues.
“We’re hopeful that DeSean gets incorporated into practice this week,” Pederson said while answering a question about chemistry and continuity at the wide receiver position. “We’re obviously hopeful that Alshon gets back out there this week, and we gotta make sure that these two guys are healthy first, right, No. 1, make sure they’re 100% heading into the game.”
Their absences were muted by the continued emergence of second-year wide receiver Travis Fulgham, who posted 10 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s loss. But their potential in Week 6 against the Ravens would give Carson Wentz the most complete complement of offensive weapons to work with in quite some time.