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Biggest Week 12 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams

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There could be more changes coming at the NFL’s most important position.

Quarterback Nick Foles missed Wednesday’s practice because of a hip injury, and Mitchell Trubisky — who just returned himself from a shoulder injury — took all the reps.

But the injury news wasn’t all negative, as the Chiefs could be on track to get WR Sammy Watkins back in time to face the Buccaneers. Running back Christian McCaffrey returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury three weeks ago — but he’s not expected to play Sunday at Minnesota. And the Eagles could get a boost in the NFC East race with the possible return of TE Zach Ertz, who is “trending in the right direction” according to coach Doug Pederson.

Here’s a roundup of the biggest injury situations from ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters:

Jump to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

AFC EAST

What is going on with Mitch Morse? He cleared concussion protocol in Week 10 and was active for the Bills’ game against the Cardinals but did not play. Sean McDermott called it a football decision, which seems odd considering Buffalo made Morse the league’s highest paid center at the time it signed him last offseason. If he’s healthy enough to play and Cody Ford returns to the lineup, the Bills will have their full starting five offensive line for the first time all season. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


The Dolphins running backs room is a question once again with lead back Salvon Ahmed nursing a shoulder injury that forced him to miss practice Wednesday. Meanwhile, Myles Gaskin was designated to return off IR and practiced in a red non-contact jersey Wednesday as he rebounds from a knee sprain. Coach Brian Flores was noncommittal on Gaskin’s status for Sunday. So the Dolphins might have one, both or neither. If it’s the latter, Matt Breida, Patrick Laird and DeAndre Washington would carry the load. — Cameron Wolfe


Starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn has a knee injury that knocked him out of the final two plays of Sunday’s loss to the Texans, and he hasn’t practiced this week, which seems to foreshadow that the Patriots will have to go to Plan B. The question then becomes if that’s veteran Jermaine Eluemunor or rookie Justin Herron. — Mike Reiss


QB Sam Darnold, sidelined the past two games because of a shoulder injury, is trending toward a return to the lineup Sunday. He took all the first-team reps Wednesday, a clear indication the plan is to start him against the Dolphins. The Jets will wait until the end of the week to make it official, just in case there’s a setback. If he’s cleared, Darnold will get his first chance to play with the three starting wide receivers. — Rich Cimini

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Ryan Clark agrees with the NFL’s decision to move Ravens-Steelers from Thursday to Sunday after several positive coronavirus tests from Baltimore.

AFC NORTH

One of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the league this season has cast doubt over the entire roster. In the past three days, the Ravens have put seven players on the reserve/COVID-19 list who have totaled 2,127 snaps this season. This includes two running backs (J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram), their sacks leader (defensive end Calais Campbell) and their top two centers (Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura). — Jamison Hensley


The status for the Bengals’ top running back is in question yet again. This time it’s Giovani Bernard, who missed Wednesday’s practice because of a concussion. Bernard didn’t play in the Bengals’ final two offensive drives against Washington, according to NFL Next Gen. Bernard was the last Cincinnati running back who was capable of being a serviceable fantasy option. Even if he didn’t participate at practice, Bernard was present for the portion open to the media. It’ll be a situation worth watching the rest of the week. — Ben Baby


The Browns will be without CB Denzel Ward, who suffered a calf injury, and could miss multiple games, according to the team. Ward, a Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2018, was playing like a Pro Bowl corner again this season. Cleveland’s options to replace him include preseason waiver pickup M.J. Stewart, nickelback Kevin Johnson, special-teams ace Tavierre Thomas, undrafted rookie A.J. Green or reserve Robert Jackson. — Jake Trotter


The postponement of the Steelers-Ravens game to Sunday might work to the Steelers’ advantage — at least injury-wise. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Joe Haden, both injured against the Jaguars, practiced Wednesday. Smith-Schuster (foot) was a full participant, and Haden (knee) returned as a limited participant. Barring any setbacks, both are trending toward playing with the extra rest. — Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

After missing Sunday’s game against the Patriots because of an illness, left tackle Laremy Tunsil was listed as a full participant in practice two days in a row. Tackle Roderick Johnson played well in place of Tunsil in Week 11, but the Texans will be happy to have their Pro Bowl left tackle back. — Sarah Barshop


The Colts have a number of concerns, especially on defense where defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry are both on the reserve/COVID-19 list. But quarterback Philip Rivers did not practice Wednesday due to a toe injury suffered while attempting to make a block in their Week 11 victory over Green Bay. The Colts are taking a cautious approach with Rivers and his toe to ensure he’s ready for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. — Mike Wells


QB Mike Glennon is making his first start since Week 4 of the 2017 season and the health status of three of the Jaguars’ top four wide receivers is uncertain. DJ Chark Jr. (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip) did not practice on Wednesday and Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) was limited. Shenault has missed the past two games so him being on the practice field is positive but not having Chark, the team’s best receiver, would be hard to overcome against Cleveland. — Mike DiRocco


Adoree’ Jackson missed practice again because of a knee injury. He has yet to participate in a game or practice since being added to the active roster. Jackson is usually the corner the Titans match up with the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton. That probably won’t be the case this week and there’s no telling when Jackson will return to the field. — Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

CB Bryce Callahan (foot) did not practice Wednesday and his status will bear watching through the week. Callahan did some work with the team’s strength and conditioning coaches on a side field during Wednesday’s practice. He has been at his best in recent weeks, including a game-saving interception against the Chargers. The Broncos face the Saints on Sunday, and while New Orleans WR Michael Thomas had played in only four games this season, he is coming off his first 100-yard effort this past week with 104 yards against the Falcons. — Jeff Legwold


Sammy Watkins appears to be on track to play for the first time since Week 5 on Sunday against the Bucs. He was a full practice participant Wednesday. Watkins has calf and hamstring injuries. The Chiefs would gladly take Watkins back in their lineup. Their depth at wide receiver has been diminished recently because of injuries. — Adam Teicher


Rookie cornerbacks Damon Arnette, a starter, and Amik Robertson, a backup in the slot, both missed practice Wednesday because of illnesses. Raiders coach Jon Gruden lamented his young secondary rarely practicing together this season due to injury and COVID-19 issues. And now, the Raiders face the No. 2-ranked passing offense in the NFL in the Falcons with DB Lamarcus Joyner still on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Ouch. — Paul Gutierrez


LB Uchenna Nwosu is out due to a shoulder (AC joint) injury for Week 12 at Buffalo. It’s a Grade 2 sprain according to a report, but he’s a big part of the defense and could go on IR. DE Jessie Lemonier is expected to replace him. Nwosu had 3½ sacks for the season — Shelley Smith

NFC EAST

Cornerback Anthony Brown is questionable for Thursday’s game because of an aggravated rib injury that kept him out earlier in the season. Already without rookie Trevon Diggs (foot), the Cowboys called up Rashard Robinson and Deante Burton from the practice squad. Robinson was forced into action last week vs. Minnesota and could play a larger role Thursday, which is not a good thing if Terry McLaurin, who is questionable because of a foot injury, can play at full speed for Washington. — Todd Archer


Second-round pick Xavier McKinney (foot) had his practice window opened earlier this week after being on injured reserve since the start of the season. The versatile safety practiced Wednesday in pads for the first time since surgery in the summer. McKinney seemed to be moving well but still seems unlikely to play Sunday against Cincinnati. The Giants need to get him back into playing shape first. — Jordan Raanan


Coach Doug Pederson said tight end Zach Ertz is “trending in the right direction” when asked about his status for Monday night’s game against the Seahawks. Ertz has been sidelined since Week 6 because of a high ankle sprain but has practiced the past two weeks. If he gets through this week without incident, he could be back in the lineup vs. Seattle. — Tim McManus


Receiver Terry McLaurin is questionable for Thursday’s game at Dallas because of an ankle injury, but the good news for Washington is that he was able to participate in practice Tuesday. And, though it was only a walk-through, he was listed as a full participant Wednesday. It’s hard to imagine him not playing vs. Dallas. Washington will be minus safety Deshazor Everett, who was ruled out for Thursday because of an ankle injury. He was going through drills Tuesday, a good sign for a Week 12 matchup at Pittsburgh. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

The Bears seem on the cusp of making another quarterback change after Nick Foles (hip) missed practice Wednesday. Mitchell Trubisky, who just returned from a shoulder injury, took all the reps in practice and is the favorite to start versus the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Bears coach Matt Nagy is officially calling Foles “day-to-day” but Nagy expressed confidence in Trubisky, whom he benched in favor of Foles in Week 3. “I have all the confidence in the world in Trubisky if he has to start,” Nagy said. “I’m impressed with how Mitch has grown week-to-week.” — Jeff Dickerson


Who will play corner and receiver? The Lions again ruled Kenny Golladay (hip) and Danny Amendola (hip) out, so Marvin Hall and Mohamed Sanu Sr. could have larger Thanksgiving roles. At corner, Amani Oruwariye (back) is questionable, and both Jeff Okudah (shoulder) and Mike Ford (concussion) are out. So it’s potentially a thin group with Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman and practice squad call-up Dee Virgin the healthy options if Oruwariye can’t go — with safety C.J. Moore or converted corner Jamal Agnew in a pinch. — Michael Rothstein


You might not think a center is the most important injury — especially for a team with nearly 20 players on their medical report, but Corey Linsley‘s back injury is cause for concern. Yes, the Packers adapted when Linsley dropped out against the Colts, but the seventh-year pro plays a critical role in the pre-snap adjustments that the Packers and Aaron Rodgers make at the line of scrimmage. Linsley warmed up with the team Wednesday but stayed inside when the rest of the players went outside for drills during the open portion of practice. He was officially listed as a limited participant. — Rob Demovsky


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Stephania Bell explains what it means for Adam Thielen’s availability for the Vikings on Sunday now that he has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Adam Thielen remains quarantined on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It’s unknown whether the Pro Bowl receiver tested positive, which would keep him out of Sunday’s game against Carolina, or if he was a close contact with someone who has the virus and could be activated in time for Week 12 should he continually test negative this week. In his absence, Irv Smith Jr. could see a spike in targets the way he did the last time Thielen missed time in 2019, but the second-year tight end was limited Wednesday because of a groin/back injury. — Courtney Cronin

NFC SOUTH

Almost all of the Falcons’ skill position players are injury questions early in the week. Julio Jones practiced on a limited basis Wednesday because of the hamstring injury that sidelined him for much of last week’s game at New Orleans. Calvin Ridley (foot) also practiced on a limited basis. But RB Todd Gurley II (knee) and TE Hayden Hurst (ankle) did not practice. The severity of Gurley’s injury is unknown, but it’s worth monitoring since he did not play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss. — Mike Triplett


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Stephania Bell does not expect Christian McCaffrey to play until Week 14, following the Panthers’ bye week.

Running back Christian McCaffrey returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury three weeks ago, but he is not expected to play Sunday at Minnesota. It appears McCaffrey won’t return until after the bye week for a Dec. 13 game against Denver. Mike Davis will once again handle the bulk of the running back duties. — David Newton


Top CB Marshon Lattimore was back to full practice participation Wednesday — a good sign that he should be able to return from the abdomen injury that sidelined him last week. That’s good news against a Denver offense that features multiple WR threats in Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick. RB Alvin Kamara (foot) and WR Michael Thomas (ankle) were limited in Wednesday’s practice, but they have been playing through those injuries. — Mike Triplett


Starting cornerback Jamel Dean left the Rams game and is now in the concussion protocol — not at all ideal when preparing to face the No. 1 passing team in the league in Kansas City. Ross Cockrell filled in as the third cornerback. Backup center A.Q. Shipley, who started the past two weeks, suffered a neck injury on the final drive against the Rams and did not practice Wednesday, but left guard Ali Marpet was a full participant after missing the past three games because of a concussion. He was still experiencing symptoms last week after he tried practicing in full on Thursday, so they’re hoping for a better outcome this time. — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

Kyler Murray was limited Wednesday as the Cardinals ease him along this week due to his injured right shoulder. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said the idea of having three quarterbacks active for Sunday’s game at New England was discussed. Murray has tried to limit his throwing during the week in an effort to rest his shoulder. — Josh Weinfuss


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Louis Riddick and Brian Griese explain why the Rams’ win over the Buccaneers proves that they are legit contenders coming out of the NFC.

Linebacker Micah Kiser has a knee injury and Rams coach Sean McVay says he’ll be “very surprised” if he’s able to play Sunday against the 49ers. If Kiser is unable to go, Troy Reeder will start in his position alongside Kenny Young. Tight end Tyler Higbee has an elbow injury and his status is also uncertain for Sunday. Johnny Mundt could play an increased role if Higbee is sidelined. — Lindsey Thiry


Running back Raheem Mostert (high ankle sprain) had his 21-day window to be activated from injured reserve opened on Tuesday and participated in Wednesday’s practice. Since he’s still on injured reserve, he didn’t get an official injury designation Wednesday but coach Kyle Shanahan remains hopeful that Mostert will return Sunday against the Rams. Fellow running backs Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) and Tevin Coleman (knee) also could return this week, but the Niners often go as Mostert does. With that Rams defense next up, they need him more than ever. — Nick Wagoner


Pete Carroll has said he expected running back Chris Carson to return this week along with cornerback Shaquill Griffin and center Ethan Pocic. That leaves right tackle Brandon Shell as the Seahawks’ biggest question. Carroll said he’ll be a close call for Monday night’s game at Philadelphia because of the high-ankle sprain he suffered last week against Arizona. The Seahawks list Cedric Ogbuehi as their backup at both tackle spots, but they also have Jamarco Jones capable of stepping in on the right side. — Brady Henderson

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New Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes to evaluate QB Matthew Stafford, rest of roster

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New Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes said he believes quarterback Matthew Stafford is a “great player” who has a lot of the intangible traits he likes to see out of all of his players.

Holmes, though, made no definitive declaration on the future of Stafford, who has two years left on his contract. Owner Sheila Ford Hamp said that would be up to Holmes and their yet-to-be-named head coach.

“What you really appreciate is that the talent was easy to see, but you really appreciate how his intangibles show on film,” the 41-year-old Holmes said of Stafford. “How urgent he plays, how competitive he is, the toughness that he shows. But it is my job to evaluate the entire roster and through that process I have not had any discussions with Matt or any players for that matter.

“So you know, I just want to be fair into the process to make sure we evaluate that thoroughly but obviously, Matt, very good football player.”

Much of Holmes’ first news conference centered on how he wants to “retool” a Lions roster that finished last in the NFC North in each of the last three seasons. Everything he is attempting to bring in will be part of a larger process he envisions, something he saw work well during his almost two decades with the Rams as he worked his way up from public relations intern to the director of college scouting under Les Snead.

Holmes said the first thing he wants to do is meet with and go through the entire roster after the team hires a new head coach, which is expected to be New Orleans Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Team president Rod Wood said a collaboration of Holmes and the new head coach will have say over 53-man roster decisions. Holmes, the new head coach and vice president of football administration Mike Disner, who will have added responsibilities within the organization, will all report to Wood and Hamp.

Hamp said since they ran the head coach and general manager searches simultaneously, they asked general manager candidates about who they had in mind as head coaches. And they’d ask coaching candidates similar questions about general managers. Often, Hamp said, the lists had common names.

Hamp did say that Holmes talked with some of their remaining candidates after he was hired.

It was during those interviews where Holmes “blew away the competition,” Wood said. Hamp said she believes, particularly with analytics and technology, what Holmes will bring is “definitely different than what we’ve been doing here.”

Holmes didn’t want to delve into specifics, but all of this is the start of what Holmes is describing as his process.

“I would say let’s all trust the process that is going to be in place,” Holmes said. “It is going to be a very sound process. It will be a very thorough and diligent process and we’re going to, like I said earlier, we’re going to surrender those results to the process. I’ve always been one that likes to go through the process and tries to delay my intuition towards the end. “So if we keep the process sound and then we make the right intuitive decisions going forward, I believe the Lions fan base are going to be very, very happy with the results that they see.”

Holmes does not see his process being a massive rebuild. He said his plan is to field a competitive team in 2021, acknowledging there were areas, specifically defensively, where the Lions were “definitely going to retool,” but he did not offer specifics.

But he did say he saw building blocks on a defense that allowed the most points and yards in franchise history last season under head coach Matt Patricia and defensive coordinator Cory Undlin.

Detroit does have Jeff Okudah, last year’s No. 3 overall pick, as well as cornerback Amani Oruwariye, safety Tracy Walker, defensive end Trey Flowers and linebacker Jamie Collins as starters who are expected to return next season.

“The ultimate goal is to make sure the most competitive team is on the field and that starts right now, this year, entering the 2021 season,” Holmes said. “So not viewing this as this will be a long-term, I don’t know how long this is going to take. That is not the approach.

“That’s not the mindset going into it. The approach is to make sure that we can put the most competitive team possible out on the field in 2021.”

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New Falcons coach Arthur Smith, GM Terry Fontenot vow collaborative effort in building roster

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Arthur Smith said he will call his own plays as new coach of the Atlanta Falcons. But Smith and new general manager Terry Fontenot both insisted that they will collaborate on deciding the makeup of the Falcons’ roster while both reporting to team president Rich McKay.

Both Smith and Fontenot also insisted that it’s far too soon to make any definitive statements on the future of players like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones while they were formally introduced to the media Tuesday by Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

The Falcons also have not yet announced any assistant coach hires.

“I can’t give you any snap judgments today because we’re still early in this process,” said the 38-year-old Smith, who spent the past 10 seasons working under four different head coaches with the Tennessee Titans — including the final two as offensive coordinator.

Smith did stress that Ryan “has been a terrific quarterback, and I’ve got all the respect in the world for Matt Ryan, and I look forward to working with him.”

However, Smith added, “It’s more than Matt and Julio. There’s a lot of talented players on this roster, whether you’re talking about Chris Lindstrom, Grady Jarrett … I mean, there’s so many players.”

Smith also made it clear that he will build around the strengths of the players on Atlanta’s roster, rather than trying to replicate the 2,000-yard rushing season that Derrick Henry just produced under his watch in Tennessee. He pointed to the Cleveland Browns having a great two-man tandem at running back, for example.

“We adapted to Derrick, but there’s only one Derrick Henry,” Smith said. “He’s like having Shaquille O’Neal in his prime. You have to feed the big fella. And certainly we did that in Tennessee. But you adapt to the strengths you have. There are multiple ways to do it.”

Blank and McKay stressed throughout the hiring process that they won’t dictate any roster decisions to the new GM and coach. Blank said he believes the Falcons could realistically vault from worst to first in the NFC South after the team was more competitive than its 4-12 record suggested in 2020. But at the same time, he said they couldn’t “fool ourselves” into thinking they were better than the team that went 7-9 in both 2018 and 2019.

They said the goal in Atlanta is having “sustained success” after they fired coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff — who had led the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016.

Fontenot and Blank also talked “sustained success” being the primary focus.

“We’re not gonna make decisions that are gonna help us in 2021 but are gonna hurt us in ’22 and ’23,” said Fontenot, who spent the past 18 years climbing the ranks in the pro personnel department for the rival New Orleans Saints. “I know there’s a lot of good players on this roster and I know there’s some areas we need to address.”

The Falcons are projected to be more than $30 million over the NFL’s reduced salary cap in 2021 with just 31 contracts on the roster, according to ESPN’s Roster Management System — though the league has not yet announced an official salary cap number.

They also have the No. 4 pick in the draft.

Fontenot and Smith did not know each other previously — but both spoke highly of the impressions they gained during the hiring process. And Blank said each recommended the other for their respective jobs.

Blank said he was impressed by the success Smith had in Tennessee; by the fact that three new coaches all chose to keep Smith on staff and to actually promote him along the way; and by the recommendations he got from people including Joe Gibbs. Smith was on Gibbs’ staff in Washington early in his career.

“I couldn’t be more excited about Arthur Smith. He’s special,” Fontenot added. “I think the most important thing, the most critical factor with the right head coach is to have the right leader of men. He’s a good man, he can connect to players, he can connect with everyone in the building, he’s gonna be a good communicator. He’s highly intelligent and he’s adaptive.”

Fontenot interviewed with four different teams for their GM jobs this cycle but said he knew the Falcons even better than most because he had been studying them so closely for so long as a division rival. Blank spoke highly of the perspective that Fontenot brought, as well as his winning background while working with demanding people like coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis. Fontenot got choked up during his introductory videoconference when he talked about the opportunity that Loomis gave him to join the Saints’ scouting department when he was a 22-year-old marketing intern fresh from his days as a safety at Tulane University in New Orleans.

And the Louisiana native said his family already “bleeds black and red” now, showing off his kids in their Falcons gear.

Fontenot, 40, is now the fourth Black general manager in the NFL and the second one hired in this cycle, along with the Detroit Lions’ Brad Holmes.

“It’s really a blessing. But I don’t look at it like an accomplishment, I look at it as an opportunity,” Fontenot said. “And I take it as a challenge, because I need to be successful. I need to do things the right way and operate and be successful — or that’s not fair to the people that are gonna come after me. You know, my son’s 9 years old and he’s gonna be a GM. That’s what he told me already. So I need to make sure I operate a certain way and I do things the right way so he’s gonna have a great opportunity when it’s his time.”

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Josh McDaniels a hot name in Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching search – Philadelphia Eagles Blog

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PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie gave us fair warning that this could be a long, winding coaching search.

“If we find a head coach soon or it’s early February, it’s totally great. If we’re the last team picking a head coach, that’s great, too, because then you have all the opportunity in the world,” he said on Jan. 11 after firing Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson. “There’s no rush. There’s no pressure. There’s nothing that should drive you from a decision based on just rational thought and careful analysis and getting to know the person as best you can.”

Five of the seven head-coach openings in the NFL have been filled, leaving the Eagles and Houston Texans still in the dance. Given all the turmoil surrounding the Texans lately, Philadelphia is probably the more desirable landing spot, though questions about how it ended with Pederson, a complicated quarterback picture and a bad salary-cap situation for 2021 have affected the job’s attractiveness.

The Eagles continue to cast a wide net. They interviewed Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh and Brandon Staley, all of whom have since accepted head-coaching jobs elsewhere; met with rising stars such as Jerod Mayo, Joe Brady and Kellen Moore; and talked with in-house candidate Duce Staley, who has been receiving one vote of confidence after another from current and former members of the organization.

Four other candidates have been interviewed in recent days, including Josh McDaniels, who is the hot name at the moment. Let’s take a closer look:

Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots offensive coordinator

McDaniels, 44, had a marathon interview with the Eagles on Sunday, and there’s been plenty of industry buzz since that he’s the guy. Others believe that’s premature.

What’s certain is the Eagles are intrigued. McDaniels, after all, is a six-time Super Bowl champion and has an extremely bright football mind by all accounts. Given his success working alongside quarterback Tom Brady, McDaniels has the kind of coaching chops Carson Wentz would respect and likely respond to — at least initially.

There are legitimate questions about fit, however. Would he clash with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman over personnel control and organizational structure? Would Wentz respond well longer term to McDaniels’ hard coaching? Did McDaniels learn from his rocky stint as the Denver Broncos‘ head coach? Will his instinct once again be to grab power?

There is a lot to think about, and plenty of homework to do, before making this decision.

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator

Bowles, 57, had a virtual interview with the Eagles on Monday, one day after his defense generated four turnovers in a 30-20 Tampa Bay win against the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs. Talk about coming in with some momentum.

There is a great deal of respect for Bowles in the Eagles’ organization. He is viewed as a strong leader with high character. They are familiar with him — he was the Eagles’ secondary coach and interim defensive coordinator in 2012 — and have a good idea of how he would fit within the current organizational dynamics.

The big question would be related to his coaching staff. Lurie desperately wants an innovative offensive mind to help lift the Eagles’ attack back toward the top of the league. Bowles’ choice for offensive coordinator, then, would be critical to him landing the job.

It’s possible that after all this searching, Lurie comes back to someone he trusts and is comfortable with.

Nick Sirianni, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator

Sirianni, 39, is interviewing for the head-coaching job Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He was the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach in 2014 and 2015 when Frank Reich was offensive coordinator in San Diego, and Reich hired him to be his right-hand man when he left Philadelphia to take the Colts’ head-coaching job in 2018.

Indianapolis has fielded a top-10 offense two of the past three seasons despite a rotating cast at quarterback. Philip Rivers completed 68% of his passes this season for 4,169 yards with 24 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Sirianni has worked as a quarterbacks coach and receivers coach since coming into the league with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009.

The Colts (11-5) finished ninth in scoring (28.2 PPG) and 10th in yards per game (378.1) in 2020.

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator

The Eagles are scheduled to interview Allen on Wednesday, a league source confirmed.

Allen, 48, has served as the Saints defensive coordinator since 2015. His defense ranked third in yards allowed (277.5 YPG) and fifth in both points per game (19.5) and passing yards allowed (190 YPG) in 2020.

He was the Raiders’ head coach from 2012 to 2014, posting a record of 8-28. Prior to that, he won a Super Bowl ring as secondary coach of the Saints in 2009.

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