During the preseason, injuries at the defensive end position forced defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins outside. But that’s nothing compared to what he almost had to do on Sunday.
With two starting offensive linemen hurt (King Dunlap and Jason Kelce) and only seven offensive linemen dressed for the game, the Eagles were one injury over the final 24 minutes away from using Jenkins on offense.
“[Coach Andy Reid] came and talked to me,” Jenkins said, via Andy Schwartz of CSNPhilly.com. “That was definitely on my mind throughout the rest of the game. When he came and told me at first, I didn’t know if he was joking or not. The more you look at him, I’m like, he’s serious here. I was looking at him and he was saying if somebody goes down, I’m coming at you.’ I just looked at him and realized, ‘He’s not joking.'”
Apart from the fact that Jenkins has never played offensive line (at any level of the sport) is the fact that the Ravens would have had extra incentive to tee off on him. “I was like, ‘Oh man.’ I was just talking trash to their defensive line a second ago,” Jenkins said. “I’m like, ‘There will be some serious apologizing going on out there.'”
The Eagles ultimately didn’t have to use Jenkins on offense. But it’s even more proof that having only 46 players dressed doesn’t mean that every team will have enough bodies to cover a rash of injuries at one position.