The first game of the season for the Philadelphia Eagles was nothing short of a disaster.
Not only did the Eagles lose the game (27-20), as well as their starting quarterback (Kevin Kolb), they lost three very valuable starters, two for the remainder of the season.
After emerging as a very viable short-yardage runner last season, Pro Bowl fullback Leonard Weaver was injured on his very first carry of the entire season.
Weaver’s injury was without a doubt one of the most gruesome injuries I have ever seen. Except for Lawrence Taylor breaking Joe Theismann’s leg in 1985, this might be the worst injury I’ve ever seen in the NFL.
Weaver tore his ACL on the play and hasn’t been able to lift his foot since. Although he is being treated by the famous surgeon James Andrews, he is a long shot to ever play in the National Football League again.
A very solid player is now much more concerned with the simple ability to walk.
To replace Weaver, the Eagles signed Owen Schmitt, a former member of the Seattle Seahawks.
Schmitt quickly became a favorite in Philadelphia for his tough style of play.
That, and he’s a pretty good football player.
He’s no Leonard Weaver though.
Middle linebacker Stewart Bradley was involved in a dangerous play where he collided with a teammate. He suffered a concussion on the play and missed the next two games.
The memorable image of Bradley is one of him staggering off the field before falling face first into the ground.
An All-Pro in 2008, Bradley missed all of 2009 with an ACL injury and should now probably be considered injury-prone.
The Eagles also lost center Jamaal Jackson for the season with a torn biceps.
How valuable is Jackson to the Eagles?
Last year, then-quarterback Donovan McNabb was asked to name the most valuable player of the Eagles offense.
He picked Jamaal Jackson.
Ironically, Jackson was injured for the final two games of the season last year, both against the Dallas Cowboys.
Backup center Nick Cole was probably the biggest reason the Eagles’ offense played so poorly in those final two games.
Without Jamaal Jackson in 2010, the Eagles used Mike McGlynn, who had a pretty dreadful season.
I am stoked for the return of Jamaal Jackson in 2011. He is definitely one of the most underrated players on the team.
I am honestly surprised that the Eagles were even able to recover from the three major injuries they suffered in the first game (plus the injury to Kevin Kolb, which is important enough for its own article later on).