Eagles’ Starting Safety Reed Blankenship Inactive for Wild-Card Matchup Against Bucs due to Groin Injury

TAMPA, Fla. – The Philadelphia Eagles will be missing starting safety Reed Blankenship in their wild-card round matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium. Blankenship, 24, has been officially listed as inactive. He sustained a groin injury during Week 18 against the New York Giants and was considered questionable leading up to the game. Despite testing his injured groin on the field prior to the announcement of the inactive players, Blankenship was unable to recover in time to play.

In addition to Blankenship, the Eagles will also be without rookie safety Sydney Brown, who suffered an ACL injury in the regular season finale and is out for the rest of the season. This leaves veteran Kevin Byard as the only healthy safety on the 53-man roster. Avonte Maddox, who usually plays as a nickel cornerback, will likely take on the safety role alongside Byard. Maddox has previous experience playing safety and believes the adjustment won’t be too challenging. The Eagles have Bradley Roby and Eli Ricks available to play as nickel cornerbacks.

The complete list of Eagles’ inactives for the game includes WR A.J. Brown (knee), S Sydney Brown (knee), S Reed Blankenship (groin), QB Tanner McKee, OL Tyler Steen, DT Moro Ojomo, and RB Rashaad Penny.

On the other side, Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has been dealing with rib and ankle injuries, is active for the game. Mayfield was listed as questionable but the extra day off likely helped him recover. In preparation for the game, the Eagles have elevated practice squad defensive backs Tristin McCollum and Mekhi Garner to add depth in the secondary.

If the fifth-seeded Eagles manage to secure a victory against the fourth-seeded Buccaneers, they will face the Detroit Lions next Sunday. The Lions, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams in their playoff game, will be hosting the Eagles in what promises to be an exciting matchup. The Eagles, in contrast to the Bucs’ recent success, have struggled in their last few games, losing five out of their last six.

As the teams take the field tonight, both the Eagles and the Buccaneers will be looking to advance in the playoffs and keep their Super Bowl hopes alive.