This is, by far, the worst preseason injury situation of coach Andy Reid's tenure. Perhaps the only news of any comfort for Eagles fans is that the only other time they had anything that resembled the current situation was in 2004, the year they reached the Super Bowl.
The starting 11 on defense that season, much like the starting offense this year, never played an exhibition game together because of injuries to safety Brian Dawkins, defensive tackle Corey Simon, and linebackers Nate Wayne, Dhani Jones and Ike Reese.
The Eagles who sat out last night because of injury: Quarterback Kevin Kolb (sprained knee), cornerback Sheldon Brown (bruised ribs), running back Brian Westbrook (ankle), defensive end Bryan Smith (concussion), offensive tackles Jason Peters (quadriceps) and Shawn Andrews (back), guards Todd Herremans (foot) and Stacy Andrews (knee), linebacker Omar Gaither (knee), defensive end Trent Cole (shoulder), and defensive tackle Darren Howard (groin).
During the game, linebacker Tracy White suffered a strained rib-cage muscle.
Jason Babin shows well
There wasn't much good to say about the Eagles' first-team defense last night, except that a defender not normally a starter may have earned the job and, at the very least, increased his chances of making the team.
Defensive end Jason Babin was the only Eagles lineman to pressure the Colts' Peyton Manning before the quarterback was lifted after the first quarter. The Eagles' defense spotted the Colts' offense 14 points before the reserves took over.
Babin, a first-year Eagle, dropped Manning for a sack, forcing a fumble on Indianapolis' second drive of the game. Linebacker Akeem Jordan recovered the loose football on the Colts' 24.
Earlier, Manning, unhurried, picked apart the Eagles' secondary on an 81-yard touchdown-scoring opening drive. Only Babin was able to get into the Colts' backfield and rush Manning.
Babin has had a journeyman career despite just having five years in the pros under his belt. He was a first-round draft pick of the Texans in 2004, was traded to the Seahawks after three seasons in Houston, and spent half a season on injured reserve with the Chiefs last year.
The Eagles added the 6-foot-3, 267-pound Babin early in the preseason to add depth at end. But with injuries to Cole and Howard, both part of defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's platoon, Babin has found himself with a larger role.
He added a sack and another tackle for loss in the second quarter against the Colts' backup offense.
Hobbs' chances hobbled
Cornerback Ellis Hobbs, filling in for the injured Brown, aggravated an ankle injury. His performance before that should not have made Brown worry about losing his spot.
Hobbs was beaten on one Manning pass and couldn't bring down running back Donald Brown on a key third down during the Colts' opening drive. He then was involved in Indianapolis' second touchdown - an 87-yard touchdown strike from Manning to wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
Playing zone coverage, Hobbs let Wayne go by him untouched, but the cornerback had no help from his safeties, and Wayne was wide open 30 yards downfield.
Hobbs still has value as a kick returner. He returned one first-quarter kick 35 yards.
Hobbs and safety Quintin Demps handled the Eagles' first two kick returns of the game a week after rookie Jeremy Maclin took four of five returns in the Patriots game. Danny Amendola also handled a kick return last week. Maclin returned a kick for 28 yards just before the half. . . Quarterback Donovan McNabb, safety Quintin Mikell, and kicker David Akers were the Eagles' captains.
Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or email@example.com.