When the Cardinals came to the Linc last year and surprised the Eagles -- we'll say surprised and not upset, because the Eagles were 3-5 after all -- one excuse for the debacle was DeSean Jackson's absence from the lineup. After missing a meeting earlier in the week, Andy Reid decided to leave his unhappy wide receiver inactive. The offense predictably stumbled.
DeSean will play this time around when the team makes the trek to Arizona, but his running mate will not. Jeremy Maclin, who has been battling a hip injury since Week 1, was declared not healthy enough to make the trip, leaving the Birds shorthanded once again for a tough Cards D.
Maclin originally sustained the dreaded hip pointer in Cleveland, but was able to gut it out for the team's game against Baltimore. He was eventually removed from that contest though, and Reid explained to reporters today he has not shown enough improvement.
We can only hope it's not a loss that comes back to haunt them like the DeSean scratch. Philly's passing game suffered without DJacc versus the Cardinals, as Vick threw for 128 yards on 34 attempts, and a battered Maclin had two catches for six yards. Little bit different dynamic with Maclin being the one missing however, as it is Jackson who especially commands extra attention from safeties over the top.
With Riley Cooper still out due to a broken collarbone from training camp, the Eagles are light at wide receiver. Besides Jackson and Jason Avant, they are down to only rookie Damaris Johnson, who has two catches for 23 yards and one rushing attempt for six, and Mardy Gilyard, he of six career receptions. Johnson at least figures to see plenty more looks this week, but if nothing else, they will be very small at the position.
Also of note, King Dunlap will not play either. Demetress Bell will get the start, but again, the Eagles are awfully thin if they experience any additional injuries to that offensive line. Bell played okay in the second half against the Ravens, but the Cardinals will be another challenge for the left tackle.