Many believed that the Eagles would have a hard time replacing Brian Dawkins in their defensive backfield…but so far this year, it’s been nearly impossible.
The latest setback came when the team placed safety Antoine Harris on season-ending injured reserve Sunday morning because of a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot.
Harris was hurt in Friday’s preseason opener against Jacksonville, and the Lisfranc sprain—the same injury that cost Omar Gaither the final portion of 2009—will force Harris to miss all of 2010.
The Eagles did act quickly, however, bringing in safeties Jamaal Fudge and Terrell Skinner for workouts on Monday. Fudge is a four-year veteran who has played for both Atlanta and Jacksonville (and missed almost all of last year due to a knee injury), while Skinner is a rookie free agent who had 67 tackles in his senior season at Maryland.
That’s the hard news, and now comes perhaps the hard truth.
It’s true that Antoine Harris’ best shot at making an impact was on special teams. However, his injury is the umpteenth negative to affect the safety spot already this preseason, which leads me to wonder something bizarre: Are the Eagles suffering from a little something you could call 'The Curse of the B-Dawk?'”
Maybe that thought is far-fetched; after all, it’s been a full year since Weapon X was disarmed and the trio of Macho Harris, Sean Jones, and Quintin Demps filled in adequately enough in 2009.
But this year is a different story, as seemingly no one is safe.
The Eagles have officially lost Antoine Harris and Marlin Jackson because of season-ending injuries, and late last month had to waive rookie free agent Brett Johnson—whom they had just claimed off waivers from Buffalo a few weeks earlier—after he suffered a hamstring injury.
Then, while not gone for the season, Demps and Macho Harris are missing right now, as well. The latter, who the Eagles still see ideally as a corner, hasn’t been on the field for about two weeks now because of a bad hammy, and while the knee sprain Demps suffered on Friday night shouldn’t keep him out for too long, it’s still another black mark on a guy who missed half of last season thanks to various maladies.
Add in Nate Allen’s contract snafu—which caused the second-round pick to remain unsigned until just after training camp began—and it’s clear that the only certainties at safety are Quintin Mikell and chaos.
Hopefully, they replace the latter half of that duo with something tangible. Otherwise, if I’m Kurt Coleman or Ryan Hamilton, I’m moving into a giant glass bubble as soon as I can.