The Philadelphia Eagles have been missing starting safety Patrick Chung for the past two weeks with a shoulder injury, and rookie Earl Wolff has started in Chung’s stead. According to NJ.com’s Jordan Raanan, Patrick Chung is “on track” to play in this week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, based on some quotes that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had.
“Yeah. He went through [practice Wednesday] and we want to see how he rebounds. He went through everything full. We want to see how he rebounds. How does he rebound today? Is there any residual effects from it? Today is a big day for him.”
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis stated that the Eagles will start Chung next to Nate Allen if Chung is fully healthy, but they could also “rotate” Wolff and Chung at free safety if Chung isn’t healthy enough to play every down. Chung has been a game-time decision in each of the past two weeks, and it would be a surprise to see him miss three straight. Then again, Chung has a long history of injuries, especially shoulder injuries, as his hard-hitting and aggressive playing style is conducive to injuries (and mistakes that make you want to chuck your remote at the TV screen).
The Eagles are playing Chung out of position at free safety, because he is definitely more of an in-the-box player. Chung is significantly better against the run than against the pass, and the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles need him to play at FS speaks to the level of incompetence of the Eagles other safeties. Allen has struggled this season, but so did Chung when he actually played. Wolff looked like a promising rookie out of N.C. State coming into the season, but he has been putrid in all facets of the game and is clearly worse than Chung right now; that’s why the Eagles want Chung back so badly.