The Philadelphia Eagles stumbled into the postseason with five losses in their last six games, losing out on the NFC East crown and, in the process, the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Instead, the Eagles now travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild card round as the No. 5 seed without the benefit of home-field advantage. The Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers in Week 18 to wrap up the NFC South title for the third year running and are the No. 4 seed for the second year in a row.
The Eagles come into the game at on the spread. The Philadelphia offense is averaging only 20.5 points per game in its last six contests, and the defense has struggled too, allowing 30.3 points per game in that same span. The over/under line for the game is at .
Philadelphia Eagles wild card injury report
|Snaps/g Snaps Per Game
|Brown is recovering from a torn ACL and is expected to miss the start of the 2024-25 season.
|Isaiah Rodgers Sr.
|Rodgers has been suspended for at least the entire 2023-24 season for violating the league’s gambling policy.
Potential key missing players
Brown’s absence from Sunday’s game is already confirmed. The former Illinois safety was carted off the field in the first half of the team’s Week 18 loss to the New York Giants and is suspected to have torn his ACL. Losing the rookie defensive back is a big blow for an Eagles secondary that’s already struggled to contain passing offenses in 2023.
The Eagles are allowing 252.7 passing yards per game this season, the second-most in the NFL behind the Washington Commanders, and are already short in the secondary. Brown has been able to split his time between the slot and free safety this season, flashing his multi-faceted skillset. He’s a great tackler and has 11 defensive stops this season while allowing just 10 yards per reception. He has only started six games this season, but he’s been an important piece of the Eagles secondary, and having someone who can slot in at several positions is a nice wrinkle of flexibility.
The Eagles will hope that A.J. Brown is available to play after the wide receiver suffered a knee injury against the Giants in the season finale. Brown has been quiet over the last month of the season, but prior to that he was having a great campaign as one of the NFL’s top receivers. Through 17 games, Brown caught 106 passes for 1,456 yards and seven touchdowns, despite multiple games with just one catch. Brown is likely on course for his first All-Pro season.
Losing him for any amount of time would be a major blow for the Eagles. The passing game runs through Brown and his ability to win all over the field, primarily as the X receiver. Brown’s route tree is a staple diet of WR1 routes and has earned 158 targets this season, 46 more than DeVonta Smith. Losing Brown would mean that Jalen Hurts would lose one of his favorite targets, and everyone else would have to step up. Smith has shown that he can be a top receiver, but beyond him, the Eagles are lacking at receiver.
Here’s the issue, though: the Eagles could also very well be without Smith. The third-year receiver missed the Week 18 loss to the Giants with an ankle injury after missing practice all week.
Smith has been a versatile receiver alongside Brown. He plays in the slot more often than Brown and, like Brown, is also a downfield threat. Having two receivers like Brown and Smith together is a luxury that not many teams share. Brown’s role doesn’t change if he plays and Smith doesn’t, but we saw how the Philadelphia offense struggled to move the ball in Week 18 without Smith. The offense just needs all of the help it can get right now. It’s averaging just 215.5 passing yards per game in the team’s last six games, and that’s been with a mostly healthy offense.