The Eagles have just six sacks in the past seven games, during which they are 2-5. Bunkley can't get on the field. He was out there for two plays in Monday night's 27-24 win over Carolina and had Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams run by him for 9- and 20-yard gains.
Howard has just one sack and one hurry in the last seven games. In his defense, he's been slowed by injuries (groin and knee). He is listed as questionable for this week's game against Washington and didn't practice Thursday. But defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said he expected Howard to play Sunday.
"You've got to play through it," Johnson said. "Guys in this league are going to be banged up this time of year. Sometimes, you've got to limit their reps, which we're doing with Howard. But that's part of the NFL. A lot of people have injuries, and some guys have to fight through them a little more."
Besides the injuries, Howard also has been affected by the absence of defensive end Jevon Kearse, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second week of the season. With Kearse out, Howard is getting more double-team attention from offenses.
Asked whether the injuries have affected Howard's play, Johnson said, "To a certain degree. He played better Monday night than he has the last couple of weeks."
Notes From The 'Nest...