Earlier today, the newest Eagles injury news brought some concern to the Eagles secondary when it was announced that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would miss some time due to a lacerated kidney, which is incredibly not a season-ending injury. While the Eagles have been one of the Super Bowl favorites, the secondary already had some concerns about depth. With the newest Eagles injury, is it time for the Eagles to consider bringing back fan favorite Malcolm Jenkins?
In 2014, the Eagles brought Malcolm Jenkins to Philadelphia via free agency after a bit of a disappointing start to his career. Having previously been drafted 14th overall in 2009 by New Orleans, the Saints figured Jenkins would be a long-term fixture in their secondary.
While it took his career a bit of time before he found high levels of success, Jenkins truly blossomed in Philadelphia. Quickly emerging as a team leader, Jenkins survived the Chip Kelly years. In the meantime, his ball hawking and big hit ability quickly made him a fan favorite.
Filling a similar role as Eagles legend Brian Dawkins, Jenkins cemented his status in the City of Brotherly Love when he helped lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in 2018.
Jenkins would leave Philly and return to New Orleans in 2020 where he played a few seasons back with the team that drafted him. Eventually, he would call it quits on his career following the 2021 season.
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The Argument For
With the newest Eagles injury to CJGJ, the team clearly has a need at the safety position. Since being acquired by New Orleans in a trade this offseason, CJGJ has been a turn over machine for the Birds. Bringing in Jenkins, who has over 40 career turnovers, would hopefully allow the team the ability to keep turning over opposing offenses.
As an Eagles injury replacement, Jenkins would quickly return to being a fan favorite in the city. All over Twitter, fans today are clamoring for his return. Eagles games would quickly be dominated by Green 27 jerseys.
Finally, Jenkins could serve as a critical veteran factor. The current replacement for CJGJ is expected to be undrafted free agent Reed Blankenship, who might play better with a vet like Jenkins to help break down film. Furthermore, in 2018, the Eagles had Chris Long as the wise locker room veteran. Jenkins could fill that void.
The Argument Against
The first and biggest argument against Jenkins as an Eagles injury replacement is the sharp decline in his play over the last few seasons. While he was still a quality player in New Orleans, it was clear that he was no longer the dominating presence that he was in Philadelphia.
With his retirement last year and with his 35th birthday approaching, the Eagles would also have to consider how long of a ramp up period he would need before being game ready. Jenkins has likely kept himself in great shape, but it could still take awhile before his playing legs are back underneath him.
With CJGJ amazingly not expected to miss the rest of the season with a lacerated kidney (NFL players are wild!) he could be ready to return before Jenkins is up to game speed. If so, would Jenkins be willing to take a rotational role while CJGJ resumes being the starter?
In the NFL, especially as the Playoffs approach, there is no such thing as too much depth. In 2018, the Eagles were able to replace the quarterback and running back positions, amongst others, and still find a way to win.
Regardless of what Jenkins is or isn’t able to do, having him on the roster, for the right price, certainly won’t hurt the team. His veteran presence should help a weaker unit on the team and it would shock absolutely no one in Philadelphia to see 27 make a game changing play.
Eagles fans, let us know if you want to see Malcolm Jenkins back in Philly in the comments below!
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