The Eagles’ banged up secondary might be getting one of their starters back in Monday’s important game versus Washington.
According to Doug Pederson, Jalen Mills still day-to-day, but he is close to returning as the Eagles starting outside Cornerback after missing the last three games with a sprained foot. I’ve seen more fans beg for his return than be thankful he’s still out, but what does that indicate?
Are they actually happy he’s back soon or are they just sick of seeing practice squad players take the field on defense? My guess is the latter. Mills has been met before with heavy criticism, some by myself, for his susceptibility to the double move routes wherein a receiver will fake a break in his stride, get Mills to bite on the short throw, and then leave him in the dust as he turns upfield.
So, there are definitely struggles in his game. However, he’s been pretty incredible with a short field behind him — mostly because of his aggressive play style and the non factor of his lack of deep speed.
In mid-October, Mills had recorded the most red zone pass breakups in the NFL (6) through six weeks. The Eagles were 3-3 to that point — two wins of which are losses if the defense gives up last second touchdowns. And who could forget his coverage on Julio Jones in the divisional round of playoffs versus the Atlanta Falcons last season on their final drive?
This definitely isn’t to say the practice squad band-aids didn’t do their job, as they only allowed Odell Beckham Jr. a measly 5 receptions for under 100 yards. However, that was against the 3-7 Eli Manning-led New York Giants. They did allow a playoff team, and possibly the eventual first seed, New Orleans Saints to drop 48 points. So there’s still a talent gap there.
Regardless, whenever it happens, it’ll be nice to have Super Bowl 52 Champion Jalen Mills back in the secondary for this late push towards a division title.