Last season, the offensive line was one of the strongest groups on the team. Right tackle Todd Herremans, along with Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce and Danny Watkins started the final 12 games of the season together. As a group, they helped running back LeSean McCoy rush for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns.
But injuries have taken their toll on the line this season. Kelce and Herremans are now on Injured Reserve, and Peters may not return from his Achilles injury this season. Only Mathis started last week against the Cowboys, as Watkins has been battling an ankle injury in recent weeks.
Herremans hasn't seen anything like this since his rookie year in 2005, when left tackle Tra Thomas was one of 13 players who ended the season on Injured Reserve. Herremans came in to replace Thomas – then broke his ankle four games later. Herremans has become a veteran presence for the Eagles, and one of the trusted men in the locker room. So the hardest part of his injury this year, he said, is not being on the field to contribute.
"Especially where we're at, with the team struggling, I really want to be part of the group that goes out and turns it around and ends up with a winning season and playoffs," he said. "But at the same time, I've been doing this for eight years, so I understand this is part of the game, and you just have to roll with it when it happens."
Herremans won't need surgery to repair his foot; he'll just need time to heal. Both he and head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder are confident Herremans will be ready to go without missing any time next year.
"I don't even have to have surgery at this point," Herremans said. "I was really happy to hear that. Once they pop the bone back into place it's just a matter of time and letting it heal up. And then I'll have all offseason to refocus and get back into shape and come back bigger, better and stronger than ever."
While he recovers, Herremans has found a way to give back to the community. He is teaming up with the American Red Cross for their fifth annual blood drive at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, December 1. All presenting blood donors receive a limited edition Todd Herremans T-shirt, and six donors will be randomly selected to win a pair of tickets to the 2013 home opener.
Because of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross was forced to cancel 12 area blood drives. There is now a shortfall of over 12,000 units of blood because of the storms.
"The hurricane is affecting people, not just their property, but it's also affecting the medical world in this way that we're going to be short for blood now," Herremans said. "So we really need to get out there and donate. This is a really easy way for anyone to help."
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/eagles