Philadelphia Eagles: Chris Maragos to IR, Nate Gerry promoted to active roster

(Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) /

After sustaining a knee injury in the second half against the Carolina Panthers, Chris Maragos is heading to IR for the Philadelphia Eagles. Can Nate Gerry fill his shoes on special teams?

Even though he isn’t a household name, reserve safety Chris Maragos is one of the best players for the Philadelphia Eagles.

While he rarely takes snaps on the defensive side of the football, Maragos has established himself as one of the best special teams players in the entire league, and has helped to turn Dave Fipps’ unit into one of the most feared in the country.

I mean just how many other special teams players are voted captain by their teammates?

And Maragos has been rewarded for his efforts and leadership by receiving a three-year, $6 million deal before the season began.

Which is why the knee injury he sustained during the Eagles’ 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers is such a critical loss for the team going forward.

Even though Maragos could return to the team following eight-weeks on the injured reserve, his absence will be sorely missed across the board.

However, the injury does give other players, specifically Nathan Gerry, the Eagles’ fifth-round pick out of Nebraska, and reserve linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill a chance to step up in his absence.

After Gerry was initially left off of the team’s opening day roster, the college safety was activated from the practice squad on Thursday to take Maragos’ spot on the 53.

Even though Gerry may still be ways away from becoming a contributor in Jim Schwartz’ already overcrowded linebacking core, he could see his first action of the season on special teams.

Much like Gerry, Grugier-Hill also came to the Eagles as a late-round college safety attempting to make the transition to a moneybacker role, in the vein of the Cardinals’ Deone Bucannon or Carolina’s Shaq Thompson.

And while Grugier-Hill has yet to take a defensive snap for the Eagles after being claimed off of waiver before the 2016 season, he has established himself as a rising star on special teams.

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Even though Gerry may have a greater upside for the team going forward as a coverage linebacker in the team’s defensive subpackages, expect Grugier-Hill to pick up the mantle vacated by Maragos immediately, and continue the Eagles’ streak of fielding on the best special teams units in the nation.