Philadelphia Eagles News

Unsung Heroes Have Helped Keep Eagles Afloat

The Eagles are 4-3 entering the bye week. The fact that the Eagles have a winning record despite some pivotal injuries is fairly impressive. The Eagles have lost four games at the quarterback position alone. The Eagles have lost 15 games from other starters on offense and an additional four games from starters on defense.

The mantra in the NFL is one player goes down; the next has to be ready to go in. And the Eagles have received quality contributions from many of the team's reserves thus far. Here is a quick look at some of the unsung heroes on the Eagles roster.

Returner Jorrick Calvin - Calvin has allowed DeSean Jackson to rest on punt returns and is averaging 13.3 yards per return, including one for 44 yards against the Falcons. He also had a 41-yard kickoff return against the Titans.

Defensive tackle Antonio Dixon - Filling in for the injured Brodrick Bunkley, Dixon has eaten up space in the middle of the line and has made lives for opposing running back very tough. The Eagles have faced three Pro Bowl running backs in the last three weeks and all three of them were ineffective. Dixon has also been a surprise in the pass game with 2.0 sacks this season.

Offensive tackle King Dunlap - Dunlap has started the last two games for the injured Jason Peters and neutralized Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham in his first career start. Last week, Dunlap suffered a bone bruise on his knee and only missed a couple of plays.

Linebacker Moise Fokou - Notice how much better the run defense has been since he took over as the starting strongside linebacker. Enough said.

Wide receiver/running back Chad Hall - The Eagles have not been afraid to put the first-year player on the field. He has three catches and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry on five rushes this season. Hall started the season on the practice squad, but since he got the promotion to the active roster prior to the San Francisco game he has made the most of the opportunity.

G Max Jean-Gilles - Jean-Gilles lost weight in the offseason through the lap band procedure that he underwent and has since solidified the starting position at right guard, where he was the third option not that long ago. Teammates have praised Jean-Gilles for the energy that he's brought to the line and it would likely not have been possible without the surgery.

C Mike McGlynn - Although he got plenty of reps in the preseason, it's much different when the games count in the standings and McGlynn has been up to the task since taking over the starting center job following Jamaal Jackson's injury. McGlynn is the only starter along the offensive line without a holding penalty this season.

FB Owen Schmitt - How could the Eagles replace an All-Pro like Leonard Weaver? Well, you're not going to replace what Weaver brings to the table from an offensive standpoint and from a leadership perspective, but Schmitt has fit nicely into the system since he was signed off the street following the Week 1 game against the Packers. Schmitt has also been more than just a blocker with 12 receptions, good for sixth place on the team.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:30 a.m., October 27

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