Eagles offensive tackle Winston Justice will have a procedure done today to “clean out” his knee. The procedure will be performed by the well known Dr. James Andrews in Alabama.
After injuring his knee on December 2nd against the Texans, Justice did not play well the rest of the season and ended up sitting on the bench in the playoffs after playing so poorly.
His play down the stretch added to the concerns on the right side of the line as the Eagles appear to have question marks at both right guard and right tackle heading into 2011.
Although the Eagles have multiple holes to fill this offseason, many draft experts have had the Eagles taking an offensive lineman with their 23rd overall selection. This was an obvious need already, but with the uncertainty surrounding the severity of Justice’s injury, it seems like the need has intensified.
Offensive tackles like Gabe Camiri, Anthony Costonzo, and Tyron Smith are all possible candidates. Interior lineman Mike Pouncey is also a possibility, but may be a little pricey for the 23rd overall pick. Pouncey would be a more likely candidate if the tackles above were off the board and the Eagles ended up trading back a few spots.
As of now, there are a lot of questions surrounding the status of Justice’s knee. Some reports say that he will only need arthroscopic surgery, while other reports say that he could potentially need microfracture surgery. Having the microfracture procedure done could possibly put a big damper on Justice’s 2011 campaign.
After a 2010 draft in which the Eagles didn’t draft a single offensive lineman, this year’s draft could produce an offensive lineman in the first round for the Birds.
We won’t know the severity of Justice’s injury for a little while now, but it could potentially have an impact on how the Eagles spend their draft picks this year.