Eagles injury update: Avonte Maddox could possibly return Sunday

Maddox could possibly return for NFC Championship Game originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles listed nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox as a limited participant on Wednesday and are “hopeful” Maddox can return for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

For an Eagles team that’s already pretty healthy, that would be a pretty big boost.

“We’re expecting everybody to be doing stuff at practice today,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “We’re hopeful that they’re going to be ready to go. But we’ll take it one day at a time.”

Just two players were on the Eagles’ injury report on Wednesday. Maddox (toe) and Lane Johnson (groin) were both limited.

Note: The Eagles had a walkthrough so this is an estimation based on who would have practiced.

Maddox, 26, hasn’t played since Christmas Eve, when he suffered a significant toe injury against the Cowboys. Putting Maddox on IR for the second time this year would have ended his season, so he’s been taking up a roster spot this whole time.

But the chance to get Maddox back was obviously worth it. Because while he’s dealt with injuries this season, Maddox has been great when he’s on the field.

Earlier in the season when Maddox was out, the Eagles replaced him with backup nickel corner Josiah Scott. But in the last couple of games, including the playoff win over the Giants, the Eagles have used C.J. Gardner-Johnson as their slot corner. CJGJ has played safety in base and slot corner in the nickel package. When Gardner-Johnson has played nickel, rookie Reed Blankenship has been the guy replacing him at safety.

Having Maddox back for the NFC Championship Game would allow the Eagles to keep Gardner-Johnson at one spot. And it would increase the overall level of play in the secondary.

Johnson played through injury in the win over the Giants on Saturday. He has a torn adductor that will eventually need surgery but he was able to play 67 snaps in the divisional round and is fully expected to play on Sunday against the 49ers.

It’s also worth noting that Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown were not on the injury report at all.

Brown suffered an injury late in the win over the Giants, which probably led to some of the frustration we saw on the sideline in that 38-7 win. But Brown on Wednesday said he’s fine and that injury won’t affect him this weekend.

“I’m good,” Brown said. “I’m good to go. That’s all you need to know.”

Hurts was removed from the injury report last week. While he’s still dealing with some discomfort, he’ll be ready for the NFC Championship Game.

Out in Northern California, the 49ers were without several key players to start their practice week. RB Christian McCaffrey (calf), WR Deebo Samuel (ankle) and RB Elijah Mitchell (groin) did not participate.

While head coach Kyle Shanahan said he does expect all three to play on Sunday, it’s worth monitoring as the week goes on.

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