IRVING, Texas – Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan doesn’t want to overplay the negative effect of the rampant string of injuries creeping through his defense.
He’ll face another challenging task of replacing injured starters this week with linebacker
“It’s somebody else’s opportunity, and we’re approaching it that way,” said Ryan. “The nice thing about this is we’ve got really good depth on our team. We keep adding good football players. Our scouting department has done a phenomenal job.”
Ratliff has missed practice all week with a groin injury. Ryan said if there’s any way Ratliff can play, he will, but he doesn’t anticipate the nose tackle being available. Rookie defensive lineman
Bass would have provided more depth at a position that’s already lost
“Some people would make it out that they lose one player and all hell breaks loose,” Ryan said. “Please, we’ve lost a thousand. We’re just hanging in there. We’re fine. No excuse. We’re working hard. We’ve got good players all through our roster, and they’re having to prove it this year.”
Another player who could provide more depth is veteran
The backup linebacker more likely to see the field against the Eagles is fourth-round draft pick
“He’s going to play,” Ryan said. “He’ll have his letter after this game with a big ‘D’ on his shirt. But the kid has got to come through for us. It’s Baptism under fire. He’s going to be fine. All these guys have answered the call for us. We believe in everybody on our roster and this young man’s going to step up and do great.”
Ryan complimented Wilber’s cover ability and instincts. The rookie will move from outside to inside at linebacker to adjust for injuries, joining a long list of players in Ryan’s system who’ve shifted around the defense.
Wilber has played in seven games this season with only two tackles. Despite his lack of playing time and inexperience on the inside of a 3-4 defense, Wilber said he should be able to handle the task this week playing mostly in sub-packages.
“Hopefully I’m ready enough,” Wilber said. “My team has faith in me. I have faith in myself. It’s going to be a good turnout.”
“Last week he’d never worked in there, so when Scandrick got hurt, that was pretty tough on him,” Ryan said. “Obviously it looked that way. We have to have answers quicker than we did, but Mike Jenkins had a great week of practice. I think he’s excited for the challenge, and I think he’ll be up to it. I know he will.”
Jenkins is accustomed to playing on the outside, but Ryan said it should help the cornerback’s value if he can become a force against the slot receiver.
“He’s an excellent player,” Ryan said. “He’s going to have great success this week, and that’ll be even better. The more you can do the better.”