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Eagles' Dillard suffers season-ending injury; who's replacing him?

Martin Frank
Delaware News Journal

PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles' plans to have Andre Dillard replace Jason Peters at left tackle fell apart Thursday when Dillard suffered a biceps injury at practice and will need season-ending surgery.

A league source confirmed the injury and diagnosis after Derrick Gunn first reported the injury and the NFL Network first reported the severity.

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Dillard is the second starting offensive lineman to suffer a season-ending injury. Right guard Brandon Brooks tore his Achilles while working out in June, and is expected to miss the season.

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Dillard, the Eagles' first-round pick in 2019, went into the medical tent after a one-on-one drill and did not return.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Andre Dillard walks on the field before the start of an NFL football training camp practice in Philadelphia, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.

Peters, the Eagles' starting left tackle for the past 11 seasons, re-signed with the team last month, but that was to serve as Brooks' replacement at right guard. 

While the Eagles never admitted it, re-signing Peters, 38, could also have been for insurance at left tackle if Dillard were to struggle or get injured.

Obviously, that is the most likely way to replace Dillard. Peters had been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times during his previous 11 seasons.

If Peters moves back to left tackle, it's expected that Matt Pryor will go back to right guard. Pryor played three games there last season replacing Brooks. Those are Pryor's only games of NFL experience.

This week, however, Pryor has been playing right tackle in place of Lane Johnson, who is listed as day to day with a lower body injury. The Eagles could also use Nate Herbig, who's in his second season but has never played in an NFL game, at right guard.

It's unlikely that the Eagles will go with Jordan Mailata or rookie Prince Tega Wanogho at left tackle in order to keep Peters at right guard. After all, the left tackle is in charge of protecting the blindside of quarterback Carson Wentz.

Mailata, in his third season, has never played in an NFL game, and has been struggling at the position during training camp. Wanogho was the Eagles' sixth-round pick.

The Eagles are off Friday, so that should give head coach Doug Pederson and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland an extra day to come up with a plan.

Dillard had missed two days earlier this week with what the team called an upper body injury. Dillard returned for Tuesday's walk through practice, and had made it through all of practice Wednesday before suffering the injury Thursday.

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.