When speaking to the media Wednesday morning, head coach Doug Pederson announced that defensive end Derek Barnett had surgery on his injured shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season.
The second-year starting end missed the Eagles' Week 5 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings and battled through the injury in the Eagles' last two games. In six games, Barnett had 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks including the game-sealing sack of Andrew Luck in the Eagles' Week 3 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
With Barnett out, Pederson said the plan is to increase the role of rookie defensive end Josh Sweat. The 21-year-old was drafted out of Florida State in the fourth round (130th overall) by the Eagles in 2018.
"We've got some options still," Pederson said. "Obviously, Josh Sweat gets more reps and becomes in the mix but it's a great opportunity for guys that are healthy."
Sweat has only been active for two games this season: Week 5 against the Vikings and Week 6 against the New York Giants. He played a combined 15 snaps in those games and had one tackle.
"I think he's done a great job," Pederson said. "He's working the service team, working his reps there, and he's getting time with the D-line and does a great job. I think he's explosive off the ball, he's long, has been around the passer, can be disruptive, so this will be a great opportunity for him."
Barnett was a standout player for the Eagle last season as a rookie. Without starting, the first-round pick (No. 14 overall) totaled 25 tackles, nine tackles for loss, five sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in 15 regular-season games. In the postseason, he added three tackles, one for loss, a sack, a forced fumble, and one very special fumble recovery against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Pederson knows this will be tough for Barnett but he has faith it won't stop what has been a tremendous start to his career.
"I went on the IR in 2004 and it's no fun," Pederson said. "It's no fun because now you feel like you can't contribute. He's a tremendous player, he's going to bounce back from this and be better than ever, obviously. You know, it's disappointing, any athlete would be disappointed with a situation like this."