The Eagles’ second-year offensive tackle is now gone for the 2020 season
No offensive line unit was hit harder by injuries this offseason than the Philadelphia Eagles.
The team already lost starting guard Brandon Brooks to a season-ending Achilles injury prior to the start of training camp. There’s no way things could get any worse. But on Thursday, starting left tackle Andre Dillard suffered a biceps injury in practice. Hours after the reports surfaced, we now have confirmation on just how serious it is.
According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Dillard tore his biceps and will undergo season-ending surgery.
Is it Jason Peters’ time?
Entering the 2020 league year, the Eagles were expecting huge things out of Dillard, whom was slated to be their starting blindside tackle of the future. Dillard struggled during his first season, as any rookie offensive lineman would.
According to Pro Football Focus, Dillard allowed four sacks on 336 offensive snaps as a rookie. Not only that, but his play as a whole resulted in Dillard being demoted to the bench.
Even with the struggles, the Eagles still had faith in Dillard turning things around this season. Now, his sophomore campaign has ended before it even started. Luckily for the Eagles, they had an unintentional contingency plan in place.
After Brooks tore his Achilles, the team re-signed longtime tackle Jason Peters, whom they let test out free agency at the start of the league year. The expectation was that Peters would fill the vacancy at right guard. But now, the Eagles have the opportunity to flip the 36-year-old over to tackle, a position he’s played throughout his 17-year career.
Last season, Peters played 807 offensive snaps, took 10 penalties and allowed a minute three sacks, per Pro Football Focus.
Since Peters has played offensive tackle for the Eagles since 2009, having him replace Dillard makes too much sense.
It’s not the wisest move to put Jordan Mailata at left tackle when his play still needs some grooming, which isn’t ideal for oft-injured quarterback Carson Wentz. If Peters does flip over to tackle, that would leave the Julian Good-Jones and Jack Driscoll competing for right guard.
The Eagles didn’t think they’d lose Dillard before the start of the season, but re-signing Peters proved to be a fantastic move in hindsight. We should get a better idea of what the starting offensive line will look like once we get closer to Week 1 of the NFL season.