Eagles snap counts: Continuing to rotate at every level on defense

Eagles snap counts: Continuing to rotate at every level on defense originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles continued to rotate at several positions on defense in their 38-31 win over the Commanders on Sunday afternoon.

While the Eagles always rotate on their defensive line, Sean Desai used three different linebackers and two different slot cornerbacks on Sunday.

At linebacker, we saw a few different combinations of Nakobe Dean, Zach Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow. While Cunningham played every snap against the Dolphins, there was a healthier rotation in this game.

Zach Cunningham: 51 snaps (71%)
Nakobe Dean: 50 snaps (69%)
Nicholas Morrow: 27 snaps (38%)

Dean was the only one of those three to start the game on Sunday but the Eagles really mixed and matched. Against the Dolphins it was always Cunningham paired with either Dean or Morrow. In this game we saw those two combinations but we also saw snaps with Dean and Morrow on the field together.

And even though Dean started the game and played 50 snaps, there were some crucial drives late in the game when he wasn’t on the field.

At the nickel corner spot, Sydney Brown got the start but Eli Ricks rotated in on third downs. Brown ended up playing 40 snaps (56%), while Ricks played 25 snaps (35%).

It’s also worth noting that when it looked like Darius Slay was going to miss a snap, the Eagles were prepared to play Ricks at outside cornerback in his place. It appears he has overtaken Josh Jobe as the top backup outside corner. (Slay ended up returning before he missed a play.)

More defensive notes

• It wasn’t a good day for the secondary but the top four guys — Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Reed Blankenship and Kevin Byard — played all 72 defensive snaps. Byard didn’t leave the field after getting traded to the Eagles on Tuesday.

• The Eagles had their defensive tackle depth tested in this game. Jordan Davis came into the weekend with a hamstring injury and then during the game Milton Williams suffered a shoulder injury and Jalen Carter suffered a back injury. That meant that Fletcher Cox had to play a ton, Williams had to battle through injury to return and the Eagles needed more snaps from their deep reserves.

The final snap counts looked like this: Fletcher Cox 56, Milton Williams 41, Kentavius Street 17, Jordan Davis 17, Jalen Carter 17, Marlon Tuipulotu 13.

• At edge rusher: Josh Sweat 61, Haason Reddick 59, Brandon Graham 14, Derek Barnett 7, Nolan Smith 4. We’re seeing a ton of work for the top two guys, while Graham’s role has been really limited the last two weeks.

Offensive notes

• While many fans are still unhappy about Kenny Gainwell’s usage in the red zone, especially after his fumble on Sunday, D’Andre Swift played 70% of their plays on Sunday, while Gainwell played just 30%. Boston Scott was active but saw just one offensive snap.

Jalen Hurts played all 63 snaps despite looking hobbled at times with his left knee injury. Four of his five offensive linemen played every snap. Sua Opeta missed six snaps, which meant Tyler Steen played the first six offensive snaps of his career at right guard. Steen looked fine on his only drive.

• At WR, A.J. Brown played 62 of 63 snaps, while DeVonta Smith played 61. Olamide Zaccheaus played 30 snaps, followed by Julio Jones at 15. Jones played 16 in his Eagles debut last week. With his touchdown catch on Sunday, Jones proved he can help the Eagles but he is 34 so the Eagles might have to limit his reps.

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