Samuel, Justice will not play for Eagles against Cowboys

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Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel moves toward the ball during practice in November. (Clem Murray/Staff file photo)

FORT WORTH, Texas - To no surprise, Asante Samuel and Winston Justice were ruled out for Sunday night's game against the Cowboys and did not make the trip to Texas with the Eagles, the team announced Saturday morning.

Neither the cornerback nor the tackle participated in the last two formal days of practice and were listed as questionable when coach Andy Reid released his injury report on Friday.

Joselio Hanson will likely start in place of Samuel for the third straight game, with rookie Trevard Lindley taking over for Hanson when he moves inside to play nickel on passing downs.

With Justice sidelined, King Dunlap will be responsible for protecting quarterback Michael Vick's blind side at right tackle. Justice hyperextended his knee on Dec. 2 against the Texans. This will be Dunlap's first start at right tackle. He started two games at left tackle earlier this season when Jason Peters was out.

Both Samuel and Justice have knee injuries. This will be the third straight game that Samuel has missed because of a knee strain. At this point, it is fair to question the severity of the injury and if it could keep him out even longer than originally expected.

The pass defense has been a decidedly different one when Samuel hasn't been at left cornerback. In the three games in which Samuel has sat out this season, the Eagles have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for an average of 277 yards and three touchdowns and complete 63.5 percent of their passes.

When the NFL's leader in interceptions is in the lineup, the Eagles surrender only an average of 205 yards and 1.7 touchdowns through the air and quarterbacks have completed only 55.3 percent of their passes.

 


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.