Shoulder injury ends Considine's season

Posted: November 08, 2007

One player returns, another goes down.

It's been that kind of season for the Eagles' secondary, and it's a pattern that will continue Sunday when they play the Redskins in Landover, Md.

The Eagles placed strong safety Sean Considine on injured reserve yesterday. Considine suffered a season-ending injury to his left shoulder during Monday night's 38-17 loss to Dallas. It's the same shoulder Considine had surgically repaired after it was dislocated in a game against the Cowboys on Nov. 14, 2005.

"It just gave out on him again," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "We'll see what we do as far as whether he has another surgery. That hasn't been determined yet. Or, he just rehabs it."

Considine started all eight games and was sixth on the team with 47 tackles. He also had one interception and, according to Brian Dawkins, was an improved player over the one who was frequently criticized for missing tackles last season. Considine took blame for the 19-16 loss to Chicago on Oct. 21 after Muhsin Muhammad got behind him to catch the winning touchdown pass in the final seconds.

"He's played better, a lot better," Dawkins said of Considine. "When things don't go well as a team, you're always going to have players who people lean towards, almost like a scapegoat. For whatever reason, Sean is one of those guys."

The loss of Considine leaves Quintin Mikell as the starting strong safety. Mikell had started five games at free safety while Dawkins, who returned against the Cowboys, was recovering from a neck injury. Mikell played impressively in Dawkins' absence. His open-field tackle of Adrian Peterson helped preserve a 23-16 win over Minnesota two weeks ago.

Marcus Paschal, who was signed as a rookie free agent on April 30 and had been on the practice squad, will replace Considine on the 53-man roster to be a backup safety. Paschal and Considine were teammates at Iowa.

"He's basically helped me since I came here," Paschal said. "With a similar background at Iowa together, he's helped me the whole way, with the defense, with special teams."

Paschal, 23, said he was prepared for his first regular-season game as an NFL player. He will also play on special teams.

"It's not like I'm coming in here from another place," he said. "I've been here since camp and since last May, so I pretty much know the defense, and I'm just ready to pick it up here and make plays on special teams or whatever."

With Mikell starting at strong safety against Washington, the Eagles will have their fifth different defensive backfield combination this season. Cornerback Lito Sheppard missed four games with an injury to his left knee that he aggravated against Dallas. Sheppard had an MRI on Monday, practiced yesterday, and is expected to play against Washington.

Considine's loss thins out a secondary at a time when the 34-year-old Dawkins is still working his way back into game shape after missing so much practice and playing time this season.

"I'm ready to go full tilt again," Dawkins said. "Obviously, I would love to be in midseason form right now. Hopefully, last week was what I needed to be, who I need to be this week for this team."

At strong safety, Mikell will have increased run-stopping responsibility, which may be the strongest part of his game.

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com.

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