It's been confirmed that right tackle Todd Herremans has been lost for the year, which for many Philadelphia Eagles observers is also confirmation that the Eagles themselves are out for the remainder of 2012 (via USA Today).
The team's playoff chances were hanging by a thread prior to this development, and now it's pretty much official: This season is a lost cause.
The Eagles are now without 80 percent of their starting offensive line from the end of 2011, with only left guard Evan Mathis left wondering who is lining up next to him. Michael Vick has been under pressure more than any quarterback in the NFL this season. He was sacked seven times Monday night against a New Orleans Saints team that had only seven of them prior to that game.
Herremans left that loss early, and his replacement, Demetress Bell, was the worst player on the field for either team.
Pro Football Focus has determined that Vick is the league's second-least accurate quarterback when facing pressure. His lack of awareness is astonishing—PFF also reports that only Seattle rookie Russell Wilson spends more time waiting to throw in the pocket than Vick does.
Combine terrible pass protection, an offensive line ravaged by injury and a quarterback who is embarrassingly bad at handling pressure, and you have an offensive disaster on your hands. Throw in now that Vick's veteran blind-side protector has been lost for the season's final eight games and it becomes a football emergency.
The Eagles promoted Julian Vandervelde from the practice squad, which might give them the ability to move rookie Dennis Kelly back to tackle if Bell and/or King Dunlap can't hold up. But there's a strong indication neither Bell nor Dunlap nor Kelly will be able to save Vick and this passing game.
Those guys will have to deal with DeMarcus Ware Sunday, and again in Week 13. They'll also draw a Carolina defense that has what PFF ranks as the fifth-best pass rush in the NFL.
Losing Herremans appears as though it'll be the straw that breaks the camel's back. That's just a metaphor, but I do fear Vick is that camel.
And I do believe the Eagles are out of hope.