CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Eagles are getting a big boost on Thursday night.
They're getting their best defensive player back.
After missing two straight games with a calf injury, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is active for a battle of 4-1 teams at Bank of America Stadium. It's unclear if he'll be able to take his normal work load. But even if he can't, having him back could be huge.
Cox was a full participant during Tuesday's practice but came into Thursday as a game-time decision. He worked out on the fields during warmups and appeared to be moving well.
While Cox is back, running back Wendell Smallwood (knee) is still out. He's inactive on Thursday night.
Smallwood was also a game-time decision. He hurt his knee against the Chargers and missed the Cardinals game. He wasn't able to practice all week.
The Eagles will have to make do again this week with LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner. All three got carries in Sunday's win. Barner had a huge role on special teams and was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Right tackle Lane Johnson is also inactive after being ruled out on Wednesday. Johnson suffered a concussion during the first half of Sunday's game against the Cardinals and is in the NFL's concussion protocol. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will start in his place.
The Eagles' other inactives: Ronald Darby (ankle), Shelton Gibson, Elijah Qualls, Destiny Vaeao (wrist), Jaylen Watkins.
Beau Allen and Chris Long, who were both questionable with foot injuries, are active. The Eagles have depth back at defensive tackle.
Isaac Seumalo, who has been a healthy scratch the last two weeks, is active on Thursday thanks to Johnson's concussion. He is a backup at ever position on the offensive line.
It is interesting that Justin Hamilton is active over Qualls, who was a draft pick this spring.