Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said on Thursday that he's "hoping for" the return of starting left defensive end Victor Abiamiri this Sunday when the Eagles travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers.
Abiamiri has practiced this week after missing the past three games with a knee injury. In his absence, Jason Babin played and notched 2.5 sacks to give him his highest single-season total since 2006 when he had a career-high 5.0. Babin has only been active for four games this season, but it looks like he will continue to play even with Abiamiri's expected return.
"I'm practicing. That's usually a good indication when you're in the rotation," Babin said. "It's one of those things where it's more than just me. The whole point is to win. If me being out there is helping the team win, I'll be out there. If it doesn't, then I won't be."
McDermott wouldn't confirm whether Babin will play this Sunday, but did acknowledge that with "the way he's played up to this point, you have a hard time sitting a guy like that down."
The Chargers boast the league's seventh-best passing offense, but the worst rushing attack. That would provide support for keeping another defensive end active this week.
But Babin isn't just playing well as a defensive end. Babin has played inside as a tackle in certain pass downs for the first time in his career. Instead of worrying about beating one guy to the quarterback, Babin has to worry about the multiple linemen when playing inside. Babin's workload has increased on the field and in film study as well.
"You have to know how they set their shoulders, if they turn their shoulders. There are a lot of different nuances you have to learn when you are studying offensive guards and tackles," Babin said.
Signed by the Eagles in training camp, Babin has flourished in this scheme because of how they rotate the linemen. Babin's already a high-motor player, who can make the most of the 30-40 snaps per game that he said he has played in the past three weeks.
While he expects to keep that role, and with his production it would certainly be no surprise, the final say isn't up to him.
"I'm not paid to make that kind of call," Babin said. "I'm paid to go out there and practice, play and perform."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 8:30 p.m., November 12