While four starters return from injury for the Eagles this week, right cornerback Ellis Hobbs is out with a hip injury, setting up the first start in Dimitri Patterson's career. But the domino effect of Hobbs' injury means that someone will have to fill Patterson's shoes on special teams.
The team leader in special teams production points, Patterson's role on special teams will be reduced because of his important to the defense this week. Special teams coordinator Bobby April said that he expects Jorrick Calvin and Riley Cooper to fill Patterson's shoes as a gunner in punt coverage, but the player who will be charged with filling in for most of Patterson's roles on special teams is rookie cornerback Trevard Lindley.
Lindley has been active for three of the first seven games for the Eagles and he's done some good things - namely his game-clinching interception in the Week 5 win over the San Francisco 49ers. On special teams, April says that Lindley is a work-in-progress.
"He needs to play more," April said. "This will be good for him. We don't want him making mistakes, but when a guy hasn't played much on special teams and played mostly man-to-man coverage or some things at (the University of) Kentucky, he comes in here and he's asked to do a lot – block on kickoff return. You have to give him an opportunity to get better. You can't write him off initially. I think he can do much better than he did, but I'm not displeased with him. He's been a good character guy and he's tried to do what we've asked.
"I think he'll come through. The more he plays, the better he's going to get."
Lindley says that he's eager for the opportunity to continue improving and helping the team. And special teams isn't his only worry, as he's likely the primary backup at right cornerback this week if something were to happen to Patterson.
"I know the defense, so if somebody goes down, I'm pretty confident in going in there to step up," Lindley said.
Lindley experience at Kentucky also allowed him to help give the defense a scouting report on Colts tight end Jacob Tamme, who stepped in for the injured Dallas Clark to post six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown last week.
"He's a bigger tight end, but a smaller receiver," Lindley said of the 6-3, 236-pound Tamme. "In college, he was a mismatch against the linebackers. He's pretty fast for his size so you can't take him lightly in coverage. Just go out there and play technique on him, get your hands on him and slow him down a little bit."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 7:09 p.m., November 6