With the injury report filling up rather quickly this week, Joe Philbin said not to look too much into it, especially with a big game coming up on Sunday against the New England Patriots. There have been numerous players who have not stepped on the field and typically, Philbin holds these guys out of the game. However, this week is different.
“You have to look at things individually. As a general rule, I would tell you, historically for 31 years of coaching, it’s difficult sometimes for players that don’t practice often or much to play in the games and play well. Obviously, we are in constant communication with our medical staff. We want to do what is the right thing for the players and obviously the best thing for the team. So we take each case individually. I certainly don’t have something written down on stone that that’s the unwritten rule. I think guys understand that is the best way to do things is to practice and then play.”
So far, Walt Aikens, Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins, Jonathan Freeny and Nate Garner haven't practiced this week.Charles Clay, Cortland Finnegan, Anthony Johnson, Chris McCain and Jamar Taylor have been limited. With so many linebackers in that group, should we be concerned?
"We will take it a day at a time," Philbin said. "We will get our injury report out to you guys and then we’ll see how things progress throughout the course of the week. As I said, we will be ready to go and we’ll have a group ready to go.”
Part of the reason why Philbin wants to get players on the practice field as much as possible is because they need to continue to refine their fundamental skills and get the quality reps leading up to a game.
“In football, you have to go out and prove it every single week, so while certainly our fundamental principles of tackling really haven’t changed since we introduced it to the team back in April or the principal of pursuit and those kind of things. You have to continually work on them. I don’t want to say they erode, but they don’t show up on film as consistent as they should. You never take it for granted. You don’t like to see it at any point in time really.”
We'll see how the final injury report shapes out but until we get the final one leading into the game, it will be tough to tell exactly who is and isn't going to play.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs