Ellis Hobbs practiced all week leading up to the Eagles' rout of the Washington Redskins on Monday night, but did not wind up playing. Instead, Dimitri Patterson got his second consecutive start and made the best of it.
Patterson recorded his second and third interception of the season and scored his very first touchdown. Outside of one big play, Patterson shut down anyone he lined up against and showed once again that he's a very sure tackler.
But we all know players don't lose their spot due to injury, right?
Kevin Kolb would tell you that's simply not true with Andy Reid.
And make no mistake, if Reid wants Patterson to play, Sean McDermott will play Patterson, and Hobbs will take a demotion all the way down to the fourth corner.
Hobbs hasn't played poorly this season (sans his meeting with Kenny Britt), but like Vick taking over for Kolb and Antonio Dixon taking over for Brodrick Bunkley, the team has shown the guy with the hot hand will play.
Right now, Patterson undoubtedly has the hot hand.
But even if Hobbs gets pushed out by Patterson, he would likely still have a fairly large role in the defense. Joselio Hanson is the nickel corner and that's how it's going to stay. He's been moved around and has seen time on the outside, but has been unimpressive. So Hobbs would become the backup for both Patterson and Asante Samuel.
If something happened to either one of those guys, Hobbs would step in. If something happened to Hanson, Patterson would likely kick to the inside and Hobbs would start in his place. So while Hobbs would technically be the fourth corner, he would always be just one snap away from seeing time.
On top of the time he'd see on defense, Hobbs could also take over the kick return duties. Jorrick Calvin has shown some flashes, but he muffed the catch on the opening kickoff and fumbled on another return later in the game against the Redskins. He got lucky he was able to fall back on top of the ball.
The way Reid has been willing to sit starters and go with the guys who are playing best is what has the Eagles in first place in the division. Sticking with the pattern and starting Patterson seems like the only option at this point.