For Eagles, Young is probable, Maclin is doubtful, and Asomugha is iffy

Eagles quarterback Vince Young is expected to start in place of the injured Michael Vick.
Eagles quarterback Vince Young is expected to start in place of the injured Michael Vick. (ALEX BRANDON / Associated Press)
Posted: November 26, 2011

Vince Young looks set to start at quarterback in place of Michael Vick on Sunday, but he probably will be without the team's leading receiver, Jeremy Maclin, when the Eagles host the New England Patriots.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's status was up in the air after he suffered a hyperextended left knee in practice Thursday. Asomugha officially is listed as questionable and didn't practice Friday. But he ran through all of Wednesday's session and most of Thursday's, giving him enough knowledge of the game plan to play Sunday if the knee cooperates.

"He's going to continue to try to rehab and get himself ready for the game," coach Andy Reid said Friday. "If he can go, he'll go."

DeSean Jackson is listed as probable even though he was limited again in practice by a foot bruise. He hasn't had a full practice since before the Giants game.

Vick officially is listed as questionable, but he did not practice Friday and has not practiced at all in the last two weeks, making him an extreme long shot to play. He has never played a game without practicing in the week leading up to it.

Vick, recovering from broken ribs, still feels pain when he throws, Reid said.

For Young, a second consecutive start represents a chance to open eyes around the league, especially if he can beat the Patriots after leading the Eagles to an impressive road win last week. But he said he isn't thinking about next year, when he again will be a free agent.

"A lot of people [are] thinking, 'Is this an opportunity to get ready for another team?' but right now I'm a Philadelphia Eagle, and it's a team effort," he said. "I'm not thinking about myself, and I want people to know that I'm thinking about my teammates."

Maclin is listed as doubtful. His injured hamstring tightened in practice Wednesday, and Maclin hasn't been on the field since. Riley Cooper will take his place if Maclin can't go.

Asomugha's status is less clear. He was able to put weight on his knee but had not run on it as of Friday afternoon, Reid said. The corner went down in practice without any contact Thursday, putting a scare into the team.

"I saw it on the field, and then I had a chance to look at it on film; it didn't look good either way," Reid said.

An MRI exam apparently showed no tear.

Asomugha's size and versatility could be important against Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Each ranks in the top 10 in the NFL in receptions by tight ends.

Without Asomugha, more coverage responsibility will fall to linebackers Jamar Chaney and Keenan Clayton. Clayton could see the most playing time of his career because the Eagles probably will use five defensive backs for much of the game. He played in nickel formations against the Giants.

"Last week definitely helped getting my feet wet preparing for, I'll say, one of the top tight-end duos in the league," Clayton said.

A former safety who converted to linebacker in college, Clayton is smaller than the 6-foot-6 Gronkowski, but is fleet.

"I'm probably a better athlete than him, but he uses his size to his advantage real well," Clayton said. "You can't let him get rolling. You've got to jam him, got to get your hands on him at the line of scrimmage, and take their timing away."

If Asomugha sits, third-year cornerback Brandon Hughes could see significant playing time.

Eagles fines. Jackson was fined $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for flipping a ball Sunday at Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Defensive tackle Trevor Laws was fined $7,500 for hitting quarterback Eli Manning late and away from the play after an interception Sunday, according to the NFL. Linebacker Brian Rolle was fined $10,000 for an inappropriate celebration against the Giants.

Extra points. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made a surprise return to practice less than two weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain and torn ankle ligaments and is listed as "questionable" for Sunday, but there is almost no chance he will play. Reid said the cornerback is not 100 percent healthy. He was limited in practice. . . . King Dunlap (concussion) is out.


Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, jtamari@phillynews.com, or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.

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