Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Abiamiri's injury and the D-line rotation

The primary focus of the Eagles' draft was to get guys who could pressure opposing quarterbacks.

Abiamiri's injury and the D-line rotation

Victor Abiamiri had microfracture knee surgery and isn´t expected to return to running until August. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Victor Abiamiri had microfracture knee surgery and isn't expected to return to running until August. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

The primary focus of the Eagles' draft was to get guys who could pressure opposing quarterbacks.

That made sense last weekend.

And that makes even more sense today.

Jeff McLane over at Birds' Eye View reports that defensive lineman Victor Abiamiri underwent microfracture knee surgery and won't run until August. Per McLane, it's unlikely that Abiamiri will be ready for Week 1, and his season is in jeopardy.

What does this mean for the defensive line rotation?

The Eagles used nine different linemen late into last season. Three of those nine - Darren Howard, Chris Clemons, Jason Babin - are gone. And now it appears a fourth (Abiamiri) might be out of the picture as well, depending on how his rehab goes.

Those are a lot of snaps to be accounted for. I went back and checked my numbers from the Week 15 game against the Broncos. The four linemen mentioned above were on the field for a combined 56 snaps.

Given the Eagles' offseason moves, it's reasonable to assume Sean McDermott will continue with his rotation. I fully expect Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley to be taken off the field on third downs and other passing situations, unless they somehow prove they can get pressure up the middle.

Patterson, Bunkley, Trent Cole, Juqua Parker, Darryl Tapp and Brandon Graham all figure to be mainstays in the rotation, barring injury. But that leaves room for a few guys (either rookies or vets who might not even currently be on the roster) to really make cases for pretty significant playing time.

Specifically, it will be interesting to see who plays the role of inside pass rusher in place of Patterson and Bunkley.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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