The injuries mounted for the Eagles when safety Rodney McLeod and cornerback Jaylen Watkins exited Sunday's game early. With their availability for Sunday's game against the Giants up in the air, other players will be asked to be ready to perform. Whatever the case may be, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz won't be handing out awards for something that's expected of his players.
"There's no consolation prizes in handling injuries. Injuries are part of the game," Schwartz said Tuesday. "We have multidimensional players that can go in and fill different positions. We had to make it through. That's our job so I don't want to give in gold stars for doing what our job is."
That doesn't mean Schwartz is opposed to commending a job well done. Filling in for McLeod and Watkins were veteran Corey Graham and rookie Rasul Douglas. Schwartz noted that Graham did what was expected from an experienced reserve and praised Douglas for tackling well and making no mental mistakes.
Schwartz made it clear he will play whomever at wherever to get the job done. As it turns out, a handful of players are capable of playing out of positions if needed. In fact, midway through the Chiefs game, second-year linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill was preparing to line up at safety.
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"We were gassing him up on the sidelines getting him ready to potentially do that," Schwartz said of Grugier-Hill. "That's one of the things. Nate Gerry's on the practice squad but that's another guy that can potentially do things like that. There are guys that probably wouldn't go into a game starting, but being able to get you out of a game. It's the same thing with the defensive line. We have different linebackers that could go rush the edge if they needed to."
The Giants are dealing with a key injury of their own in wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. One of the league's top playmakers made his return from an ankle injury against the Lions on Monday night but looked hampered catching four passes for 36 yards. Nonetheless, Beckham gave the Eagles fits last season and Schwartz has no intentions of gameplanning otherwise for Sunday.
"We have to expect him to be 100 percent. If we expect anything less then we're in the wrong business because he has a full week to prepare. Obviously, he was well enough that they played him for 33 plays I think it was. He's another week away from that. Another week ahead of his rehab and things like that so we'll have to be ready for 13. We're going to have to be ready for him being the same guy we remember from last year."
"He's a very difficult player to handle and their offense has missed him the first couple of weeks. It's our job to keep him from being a game-changing factor and it's going to take good team defense to do it. It's not going to be one guy that will do it."