The Philadelphia Eagles had one of the most productive defensive lines in the NFL last season, recording a league best 50 sacks. A stream of relatively minor maladies have taken a toll on the unit in the opening days of training camp, and all four starters could miss the team's first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
On Wednesday, the Eagles sent Cullen Jenkins for an MRI after the defensive tackle left practice with hamstring troubles. Trent Cole has not seen the field since injuring his AC joint on Monday. Jason Babin is out for 2-3 weeks with a calf strain, and Mike Patterson is still recovering from surgery to straighten out the blood vessels in his head.
Starters typically do not play much in the preseason as it is. The absences along the defensive front will give some extra snaps to rookies and others trying to cement their status on the roster. Babin echoed that sentiment in comments to the media on Wednesday:
"The biggest thing for me I kind of feel a little upset about - I know some of the young guys could benefit from me being out there, which is ultimately going to benefit the team," Babin said. "It's upsetting, but I'm going to get out there as fast as I can."
The Eagles open the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 9, at home.