TAMPA – The Eagles will be without starting safety Reed Blankenship when they face the Buccaneers in the wild-card round on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Blankenship, 24, is officially inactive.
Blankenship suffered a groin injury in Week 18 against the Giants and was listed as questionable over the weekend. He couldn't train all week. Blankenship tested the injured groin on the field in front of the coaches long before the inactives were announced.
The Eagles will not only be without Blankenship, but also rookie safety Sydney Brown, who suffered an ACL injury in the regular-season finale and is out for the season.
During the week of practice, nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox played safety alongside veteran Kevin Byard, who is the only healthy safety on the 53-man roster. Maddox has backed safety before and said it wasn't a big change. Expect to see Maddox there again tonight as the Eagles have Bradley Roby and Eli Ricks available at nickel cornerback.
Here is the full list of Eagles inactives:
WR AJ Brown (knee)
S Sydney Brown (knee)
S Reed Blankenship (groin)
QB Tanner McKee
OL Tyler Steen
DT Moro Ojomo
RB Rashaad Penny
Meanwhile, Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (ribs, ankle) is active for this game. He was listed as questionable over the weekend and struggled in the Bucs' 9-0 win over the Panthers last week. The extra day probably helped Mayfield this week.
The Eagles selected practice squad defensive backs Tristin McCollum and Mekhi Garner for this game. The Eagles did not place Sydney Brown on IR, so none of those players were added to the active roster. But in the playoffs, roster increases are reset in practice. And with several safeties injured, the Eagles needed more depth.
If the No. 5 seed Eagles are able to pick up a win against the No. 4 seed Buccaneers, they would travel to a game against the Lions next Sunday at 3 p.m. The Lions defeated the Rams on Sunday to win their first playoff game since the 1991 season.
While the Bucs (9-8) have won five of their last six playoff games, the Eagles (11-6) have lost five of their last six.
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