BEAU ALLEN has fought the good fight since replacing defensive tackle Bennie Logan early in the Eagles' Oct. 16 loss at Washington, but coincidentally or not, Fletcher Cox hasn't managed a sack since Logan was injured.
Logan, recovering from a groin injury, was a full-practice participant Wednesday and expects to play Sunday against Atlanta. He could be a big addition as Jim Schwartz's defense encounters the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Opposing offensive lines seem to have found it easier to double-team Cox during Logan's absence.
"I gotta be better," said Cox, who was averaging a sack a game through the first four games. "I had a few chances last week. I've had chances in previous weeks. I just gotta get there. It's just a thing where, I got 'em early, and then I hit a wall. I know I'll be all right, I just have to keep pushing."
Asked whether the change from Logan to Allen was a factor in his drought, Cox said: "I wouldn't say that, because I think Beau has been playing at a high level. But I think anytime you lose a starter in this league . . . things are different, because I'm so used to playing with Bennie. Getting used to playing with Beau, knowing the way he plays. I think the last few weeks, Beau has been pretty dominant and real effective."
Cox said his position coach, Chris Wilson, told him to focus on getting one pair of hands off him, and know that the double-team made things easier for his linemates. Also "when I do get those one-on-ones, I have to win . . . I just have to embrace it and find a way to get to the quarterback . . . When we're winning, that's when teams get a lot of sacks."
With the Eagles trailing more lately, opponents haven't been in as many of the desperate passing situations that tend to lead to sacks.
Logan said it's been "very frustrating" to watch the depleted d-tackle rotation, in which undrafted rookie Destiny Vaeao has been getting more snaps than he was previously, and defensive end Vinny Curry has been lining up more inside, without notable success. "I got to bring a lot of energy" to the Atlanta game, he said.
Jaylen Watkins said that when he and Leodis McKelvin ran into each other Sunday against the Giants, leaving rookie wideout Roger Lewis Jr. open in the end zone for the game's second touchdown, they were both doing what they were supposed to be doing.
"They ran a switch route. I was trying to get to my guy, he was trying to get to his guy . . . The angles that we took just ran into each other," Watkins said. "Maybe I can tighten up my depth, maybe he can get deeper - so many different things you can say.
"They have a certain split (between receivers). They did a good job of disguising the split and getting us on levels where we would pick each other."
McKelvin, meanwhile, was a full-practice participant Wednesday. He'd said Sunday his lingering hamstring problem contributed to a wobbly performance. McKelvin noted that his struggles came early in Sunday's game, he thought he corrected the problems.
"My play was solid from there on out," he said. "Those plays can't occur, especially after turnovers," which was what happened on the first two Giants touchdowns. The hamstring, he said, is "going to be a struggle . . . it's something I have to deal with. If I want to continue to go out there and play, I have to be more technique-sound."
Doug Pederson spoke of possibly moving either wideout Paul Turner or cornerback Aaron Grymes from the practice squad to the roster, to fill the still-open spot vacated by Josh Huff. Grymes might make more sense this week, with Leodis McKelvin still getting treatment for his hamstring and safety Terrence Brooks, active for the last two games as a special teamer, sitting out practice with a hamstring problem of his own . . . Left guard Allen Barbre remains "week-to-week" with his hamstring and is unlikely to play against the Falcons . . . Safety Malcolm Jenkins, who continues his national anthem protest before each game, said there is "a lot of concern" about Donald Trump being elected president, and that waiting to see what Trump might do is "nerve-racking."