Philadelphia Eagles suffer another blow, lose cornerback Ronald Darby for season

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles lost another key player for the season.

Cornerback Ronald Darby tore his ACL in the second half of Philadelphia's 27-20 loss to Dallas on Sunday night, leaving the defending Super Bowl champions without half their starting secondary. Safety Rodney McLeod sustained a season-ending knee injury in September.

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby (21) is helped off the field by trainers during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Starting cornerback Jalen Mills and starting nickel cornerback Sidney Jones didn't play against the Cowboys because of injuries so rookie free agent Chandon Sullivan filled in for Darby. Rasul Douglas, Tre Sullivan and Corey Graham were other reserves already playing. Mills isn't expected to return this week, but Jones is a possibility.

"It's hard because you're asking players that maybe don't get a lot of practice time during the week to come and play," coach Doug Pederson said Monday.

"They're on the look teams. Maybe they're giving a look to the offense or whatever it is. Next thing you know, they're having to play. We've just got to continue to coach those guys up just like we do everybody, and make sure now moving forward that they're ready. I thought Chandon Sullivan stepped in and did some nice things out there, and it's going to be the same again this week with those guys."

Darby was acquired from Buffalo in August 2017 for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick. Matthews returned to the Eagles this season.

Darby missed eight games last season after suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, but still was tied for second on the team with three interceptions. He led the Eagles with 22 tackles and seven pass deflections in the playoffs and led the team with 18 pass breakups this season.

Darby is in the final season of his rookie contract so his future is uncertain. Starting running back Jay Ajayi, who is also in a similar contract situation, went down for the season with an ACL injury in October.

The Eagles (4-5) visit New Orleans (8-1) next.