Evan Mathis Placed on IRDTR
The Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line was dealt another blow Sunday when starting left guard Evan Mathis went down with an MCL injury. Mathis has been the highest-graded guard in each of the past three seasons and he’s done so by a substantial margin. He’ll never get the endearing label of being a “mauler” from scouts, but he’s rarely beaten in the running game and he’s been one of the most consistently effective players in the league for a few years now.
Mathis’ would-be replacement, Matt Tobin, is dealing with an ankle injury of his own, suffered in the final preseason game against the New York Jets. Tobin was our top-rated guard during the preseason at +8.0, and appeared to be on his way to becoming a useful player after coming into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa last season.
Instead, the Eagles turned to third-year center David Molk who stepped in and performed well, grading at +2.2 on 54 snaps. He didn’t surrender any pressures in the passing game and posted a strong +1.2 grade in the running game.
Losing one of the league’s best run blockers is never a welcomed sight, but if any team can handle his loss, it’s likely the Eagles. They’re equipped with two of the league’s best in left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce as well as a solid option in Todd Herremans at right guard. The entire offensive line graded in the green last season and while it’s certainly due in part to talent, the Eagles’ versatile spread running game has also played a major role in their success.
The one other early-season setback has been the suspension of second-year right tackle Lane Johnson, but even his replacement, Allen Barbre, showed well with a +2.5 effort against the Jaguars.
Despite losing the league’s best guard, the Eagles have the talent to stay productive on the offensive line, especially if Molk plays like he did in Week 1.