TAMPA — The Eagles will be without starting safety Reed Blankenship when they face the Buccaneers in the wild-card round on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Blankenship, 24, is officially inactive.
Blankenship suffered a groin injury in Week 18 against the Giants and entered the weekend as questionable. He was unable to train all week. Blankenship had tested the injured hip on the field in front of coaches long before the inactives were announced.
In addition to being without Blankenship, the Eagles are also without rookie safety Sidney Brown, who suffered an ACL injury in the regular-season finale and is out for the season.
During the week of practice, nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox was playing safety alongside veteran Kevin Byard, the only healthy safety on the 53-man roster. Maddox has played safety before and said it wasn't a big adjustment. We expect to see Maddox back out there tonight because the Eagles have Bradley Roby and Eli Ricks available to play nickel cornerback.
Here is the complete list of inactive people for the Eagles:
WR AJ Brown (knee)
Sidney Brown (knee)
S. Reed Blankenship (thigh)
QB Tanner McKee
First Tyler Steen
DT Moro Ojomo
RB Rashad Penny
Meanwhile, Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (ribs, ankle) is active for this game. He entered the weekend as questionable and had a hard time coming off the Bucs' 9-0 win over the Panthers last week. The extra day likely helped Mayfield this week.
The Eagles elevated Eagles defensive backs Tristin McCollum and Mekhi Garner for this game. The Eagles did not place Sidney Brown on IR, so neither of those players are signed to the active roster. But the team's heights were reset in the playoffs. With two safeties injured, the Eagles needed more depth.
If the No. 5-ranked Eagles can pull off a win over the No. 4-ranked Buccaneers, they will travel to face the Lions next Sunday for a 3 p.m. game. The Lions knocked off the Rams on Sunday, winning their first playoff game since the 1991 season.
While the Bucs (9-8) have won five of their last six playoff games, the Eagles (11-6) have lost five of their last six.
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