Asante Samuel has prevented a lot of quarterbacks from throwing in his direction this season. But if Samuel can't play on Sunday against the Bears - he's missed the last two practices with a knee sprain - his impact will extend to more than just his covering ability.
In 2007, the Eagles were tied for dead last in the league in turnovers with 19. Samuel was signed by the Eagles in the 2008 offseason and in the first year there were 10 more forced turnovers. In 2009, the Eagles had 38 turnovers. Entering this week, the Eagles lead the league in forced turnovers with 26 and Samuel leads the league with seven interceptions.
Samuel has earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his first two seasons with the Eagles and is on track for a third nomination. He also earned All-Pro honors last season. Since 2006, Samuel leads the league with 36 interceptions. He is fifth among active players with 42 career interceptions.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott hopes that if his team is without Samuel the dropoff won't be huge.
"It shouldn't and I hope it doesn't, if that were to be the case. I hope it doesn't because that's what we do," McDermott said. "We're a defense that plays physical football and emotional football and we attack the offense. No matter who's in there that's not going to change. So, we expect whoever steps in – if that is the case – for them to play at a high level."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:50 a.m., November 26